The ice plant is a drought tolerant, bunny resistant plant whose flowers close at night, open in the morning and slowly follow the path of the sun until nightfall. Its name is a curiosity and I can’t walk by this low-growing patch of bright pink flowers without thinking of the one hit wonder by Vanilla Ice, Ice Ice Baby. It’s funny how the mind works…..everything in my world is reminiscent of a song. The ice plant is native to South Africa and is naturalized to many warm climate regions across the globe. It is a succulent, meaning it’s a plant that stores water in its leaves and stems so that they can tolerate dry conditions. It’s known by a variety of descriptive names, including “highway ice plant,” “pigface” (I don’t get that one) and “sour pig plant,” because of its edible fruit. The fact it has small, clear engorged hairs on the surface of the leaves that look like frozen droplets of water makes the most sense to me for the name. The ice plant is what I call, a keeper.
Even though Rolling Stone Magazine listed it as the fourth worst song of the 90’s in a reader’s poll, I still crank up the volume when this hip hop song comes on the radio.