(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 12 inches
Flower Height: 4 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 9a
A stemless, suckering variety with dense rosettes of bright green leaves with white markings; the green portions turn deep burgundy when grown in full sun; produces tall racemes of pink flowers in late summer; a wonderful garden or container accent
Icena features dainty racemes of pink tubular flowers rising above the foliage from late summer to early fall. Its attractive succulent sword-like leaves emerge light green in spring, turning green in color with showy white variegation and tinges of burgundy the rest of the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Icena is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Icena is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Icena will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Icena is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.