Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Ice Plant
Give a thumbs up Crystalline Ice Plant
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Give a thumbs up Ficoide Glaciale
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Xeriscapic
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

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Comments:
Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Apr 29, 2016 8:44 PM

Invasive South African succulent which has naturalized throughout coastal Baja California. This mat-forming annual thrives on very sandy, nutrient-poor soil (like washes and disturbed areas) and outcompetes native plants in mild coastal locations (like the finger-leaved M. nodiflorum). Do not plant this species in any mild climate where it will escape.

A therophyte which sprouts in the fall and flowers in the spring, dying shortly thereafter. Hardy to zone 10a.

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Posted by RickCorey (Everett WA 98204 - Zone 8a) on May 22, 2014 6:20 PM

Leaves and stems are thick, juicy and acidic, like lemon juice (some say sour). It's slightly salty.
Covered with small white "crystals" which give it an unusual "velvety" texture.
Perennial, said to be hardy to Zone 9 but frost tender.
Fragile, requires protection from hot sun

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Posted by KFredenburg (Black Hills, SD) on Jun 16, 2020 5:16 PM

Found also in Southern Europe and Africa, this plant was probably introduced to North America from the Old World. The beads on the stems are actually swollen with water; they are easily crushed, exude their contents, and give the plant a moist feel. The species name refers to the crystalline look of the water cells.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Oct 10, 2020 8:42 PM 133

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