Our Plants

February 2006 Plant Highlight: Cephalophyllum 'Red Spike'

Image of Cephalophyllum 'Red Spike'

There are dozens of species of Cephalophyllum, but the hybrid known as C. ‘Red Spike’ is the kind most widely grown in California. It is a member of the Aizoaceae, or ice plant family, and like so many of these amazing plants it comes from South Africa. It is much smaller than the familiar ice plant seen alongside freeways and at the beach (Carpobrotus), and it spreads very slowly to form a compact clump.

              The bright magenta-red flowers of Cephalophyllum ‘Red Spike’ start early in the year and last until about March. Their brilliant color would be appreciated at any time of year, but particularly so in the wet and cold of winter, when such vividness can be hard to come by. It grows easily if given a well-drained situation and plenty of sun.

Image of C. 'Red Spike'

Photo and text by Brian Kemble

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Centennial Celebration
We are celebrating Garden Founder Ruth Bancroft's 100th year throughout 2009. If you would like to get involved in this historic milestone, you can help by contributing to the Centennial Fund or by attending on of our many special events this year.
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