Ruschia is a large genus in the ice plant family, and many of the species have not found their way into the horticultural trade, so we are always on the lookout for interesting new ones. This one, Ruschia marianae, was grown by Annie’s Annuals in Richmond, California. I very much like the red flowers with the ring of white within.



Ruschia karooica

The ice plant family is a large one, with 23 genera and about 1800 species. The majority are native to South Africa, where they are found from the seashore to high up in the mountains. The largest genus in the family is Ruschia, and these are found throughout South Africa except for the more tropical east and northeast. Almost all of the species have flowers in the pink-to-purple range or else white. The plant pictured is Ruschia karooica, native to the Great Karoo (an arid region of South Africa’s interior), near the town of Matjiesfontein. This is its first time flowering for us, and it burst into bloom in late January, with many small purplish-pink flowers.


Ruschia sp.

Ruth Bancroft originally bought this plant labeled as Mesembryanthemum ‘Ming’. Years ago, succulents in the Ice Plant Family were all thrown into one giant genus Mesembryanthemum, but they have long been placed in a multitude of genera as their classification became more precise. This one seems to belong in the large genus Ruschia, though I can find no references to the name ‘Ming’. In any case, it puts on a great show in the spring.