Mesembryanthemum Species, Barrilla, Crystalline Ice Plant, Ice Plant

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mesembryanthemum (mes-em-bry-ANTH-ee-mum) (Info)
Species: crystallinum (kris-TAL-in-um) (Info)
Synonym:Gasoul crystallinum
Synonym:Mesembryanthemum breve
Synonym:Mesembryanthemum glaciale

Category:

Annuals

Groundcovers

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Smooth

Textured

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Los Angeles, California

San Diego, California

Gardeners' Notes:

3
positives
1
neutral
1
negative
RatingContent
Neutral

On Jun 9, 2020, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Per Judd Kirkel Welwitch of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa:
"Another Mesemb showing the phenomenon of the bladder epidermal cells that some species get...this is the ice plant -Mesembryanthemum crystallinum...( like crystals) a weedy species that is very abundant on the Cape coastline, its gets these cells to survive droughts it will utilise the water strored in the epidermal layer to survive, grows pretty much like an annual."

Positive

On Jul 5, 2015, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

In Asia, it is popular snack, salad ingredient or as vegetable salt (dehydrate and then crushed into close to powder form).

It is very expansive (sold by weight) and highly nutritious.

The plants took the salt from soil and reduce the salt in the soil so it can improve the soil for other plants to grow later.

Negative

On Aug 19, 2011, gnahcd wrote:

This plant is invasive and not native to California. The pictures I took are from Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands, where the crystalline ice plant is displacing the endemic Coreopsis and Dudleya.

Positive

On Aug 17, 2009, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

{EDIT} Thanks to the poster above me! I had suspected they weren't native, but really had no idea. I won't be growing them, in any case, as they wouldn't survive where I am, now. Too bad it's an invasive--it's a lovely plant. I'm keeping away from invasives as much as I can, or keeping them in pots!{/EDIT}

I spotted these weird-looking and gorgeous plants growing wild in a San Diego beach Nature Conservancy area. I have no idea if they're native, but they cover the beach just above the sand line and glitter wonderfully in the sun.

If I ever go back, I'm planning on taking a few cuttings! :)

Positive

On Feb 3, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A succulent plant with branched reclining stems covered with tiny glistening heads of white or reddish flowers in the uppeer leaf axils.

The name actually means "blooming at midday"

There are tiny beads along the stems that are swolen with water, and when crushed give the plant a moist feel. The species name refers to the crystalline look of these water cells.

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