Malephora crocea

(Jacquin) Schwantes

Deutsche Gärt.-Zeitung 43: 7. 1928.

Common names: Crocea iceplant
Basionym: Mesembryanthemum croceum Jacquin Fragm. Bot. , 17. 1800
Synonyms: Crocanthus croceus (Jacquin) L. Bolus Hymenocyclus croceus (Jacquin) Schwantes Mesembryanthemum instititum Willdenow
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Mentioned on page 90.

Subshrubs. Stems light gray- brown, exterior fissured, barklike, to 2 cm diam., corky, becoming woody with age. Leaves crowded at end of short shoots, pale green, sometimes red tinged; blade triangular in cross section, 2.5–6(–12) × 0.6 cm, apex blunt, glaucous. Inflorescences terminal, flowers solitary; pedicel 1–6 cm. Flowers: calyx 0.8–1.5 cm; calyx lobes (4–)5(–6), 3 longer, with translucent margins, 2 shorter, apex acute; petals 40–65, purplish abaxially, orange adaxially, sometimes completely yellow, orange, or red, 4–12 mm; nectary present; stamens 2–5 mm; filaments connate basally, forming dense ring, white-hairy; ovary inferior. Capsules obcuneiform, 8(–12)-loculed; adaxial seed pockets with bifid placental tubercles. Seeds ca. 75, 3–15 per locule, 1 × 0.8 mm. 2n = 36.

Phenology: Flowering mostly spring–summer.
Habitat: Margins of coastal wetlands and bluffs
Elevation: 0-100 m


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Introduced; Calif., Mexico (Baja California), Africa.


Malephora crocea is grown as an ornamental and often sold as a ground cover for landscaping. It is cultivated along freeways as far north and inland as Fresno, California.

Two varieties of Malephora crocea have been recognized: var. crocea, with the adaxial surfaces of the petals orange and the abaxial surfaces purplish; and var. purpureocrocea (Haworth) H. Jacobsen & Schwantes, with petals purplish on both surfaces, which is grown for ornamental purposes and is not naturalized in the flora.

Lower Taxa

... more about "Malephora crocea"
John E. Bleck +
(Jacquin) Schwantes +
Mesembryanthemum croceum +
Crocea iceplant +
Calif. +, Mexico (Baja California) +  and Africa. +
0-100 m +
Margins of coastal wetlands and bluffs +
Flowering mostly spring–summer. +
Deutsche Gärt.-Zeitung +
ferren1981a +
Introduced +  and Illustrated +
Crocanthus croceus +, Hymenocyclus croceus +  and Mesembryanthemum instititum +
Malephora crocea +
Malephora +
species +