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Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

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Zone
Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Ice Plant
Aizoaceae
Annuals, Cacti and succulents, Ground covers

Of the many plants commonly called Mesembryanthemum or ice plant, this native of South Africa is now considered the only true Mesembryanthemum. A sprawling plant, it grows to a few inches tall and several feet wide. Its oval, flat, stalked, fleshy leaves grow to 4 in. long, and turn red at dry times of year. Leaves are covered with tiny, transparent blisters that glisten like flecks of ice. Foliage is edible and resembles New Zealand spinach in flavor.

White to pinkish, 1-in. flowers bloom in summer. Easy to grow from seed. Has naturalized in parts of California. This is a very drought-tolerant plant when grown in the ground, but its best use in gardens is in hanging baskets and window boxes—in which locations this plant will need at least moderate watering.

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