Landscape Plant of the Month - Aptenia Cordifolia or The Baby Sun Rose

Aptenia cordifolia- is a hardy, fast-growing, evergreen succulent groundcover with glossy green, fleshy foliage. The Sun Rose is adorned with bright pink to purplish- daisy like flowers throughout most of the year which usually fully open in the hot midday sun. In the image supplied above, this fine example, has cascaded down a concrete retaining wall facing the western sun and is still flowering well in late autumn here on the coast. The Baby Sun Rose can spread to over 1.5 metres in diameter and is superb growing around rock walls, hanging baskets or used as an exceptional thick groundcover in that arid- hot part of the garden where not much else grows. Unfortunately Aptenia cordifolia, has the potential to be an environmental weed if let go unchecked and is already considered a weed in the southern states of Australia. The foliage and stems are soft and fleshy, and they are apparently edible with a nice salty taste and are mainly used in salads. The dainty- daisy like flowers do attract bees and butterflies and in the summer months flower so profusely that you can hear the bees hovering over the blooms. There is a variegated cultivar called Aptenia cordifolia ‘Variegata’. They look their best on rocky- retaining walls, vertical gardens and hanging baskets where they can be utilised for contrast with their attractive glossy green foliage.

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