Scientific Name
Common Names
Naturalised Distribution
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Click on images to enlarge

infestation (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

creeping habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

glossy green leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of fleshy stem and paired leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

young flower (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of flower (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of immature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

infestation along a roadside (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)

habit growing in a lawn (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

fleshy older stem (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of flower with numerous narrow 'petals' (Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, USGS)

close-up of mature fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

close-up of seeds (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

Aptenia cordifolia

Scientific Name

Aptenia cordifolia (L. f.) Schwantes



Common Names

baby sun rose, baby sunrose, dew plant, heartleaf ice plant, heart-leaf ice-plant, heart-leaf iceplant, heartleaf iceplant, heart-leaved iceplant, ice plant, red apple


Native to southern Africa (i.e. South Africa and Swaziland).

Naturalised Distribution

Naturalised in south-eastern and central Queensland, in many parts of eastern New South Wales, in some parts of Victoria and South Australia, in Tasmania and in the coastal districts of south-western Western Australia.

Also naturalised overseas in some parts of southern USA (i.e. California, Oregon and Florida), in southern Europe (i.e. Spain), in New Zealand and on Hawaii.


Heartleaf ice plant (Aptenia cordifolia) is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. This garden escape is mainly found as a weed of coastal sites near populated areas in the southern parts of Australia. For example, it has been reported from disturbed coastal heath vegetation in south-western Western Australia and is also known to be a serious coastal weed in South Australia. Heartleaf ice plant (Aptenia cordifolia) is also listed as a common invasive garden plant in the Greater Adelaide region.

In Victoria, this species is also associated with saline soils and is seen as a potential threat to one or more vegetation formations. For example, it is listed as a high impact weed species in escarpment shrublands in the Dundas Tablelands bioregion. It occasionally also appears on local environmental weed lists (e.g. in Banyule City) and conservation areas (e.g. Yarra Bend Park) in this state.

Heartleaf ice plant (Aptenia cordifolia) and several other weed species are also growing amongst populations of the threatened Bega wattle (Acacia georgensis) in rocky outcrop vegetation on the edge of Bournda National Park, along the southern coast of New South Wales. While these weed populations are currently low, they are seen as a potential threat as they could seriously impede the post-fire germination and establishment of Bega wattle (Acacia georgensis) at this site.

In California, in south-western USA, heartleaf ice plant (Aptenia cordifolia) is found in disturbed places and on the margins of coastal wetlands, where it is reported to overwhelm all neighbouring vegetation and climb over anything in its path. In New Zealand it is a weed of rocky and sandy sites in coastal areas.