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Mesembryanthemum crystallinum - L.

Common Name Ice Plant, Common iceplant
Family Aizoaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Maritime sands and salt marshes[50].
Range S. Africa. Introduced and naturalized in S. Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Ice Plant, Common iceplant


Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Ice Plant, Common iceplant

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Carpobrotus crystallinum. Cryophytum crystallinum.

Habitats

Cultivated Beds;  In East Wall;  In South Wall;  In West Wall;  Walls.

Maritime sands and salt marshes[50].

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves and stems - raw or cooked[27, 52, 84, 95, 264]. They can be used as a spinach substitute[2]. The leaves have an acid flavour, they are thick and very succulent with a slightly salty tang[183]. They can also be pickled like cucumbers or used as a garnish[183]. Fruit[84, 106]. No more details are given. Seed - a famine food used when all else fails[177].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Demulcent;  Diuretic.

The plant is demulcent and diuretic[240]. It is used in the treatment of inflammations of the pulmonary and genito-urinary mucous membranes[240]. The leaves are used in the treatment of ascites, dysentery and diseases of the liver and kidney[240].

Other Uses

Soap.

The crushed foliage is a soap substitute[84].

Cultivation details

Easily grown in an ordinary well-drained garden soil[1, 52]. Succeeds in any well-drained low-fertility soil so long as it is in a sunny position[200]. A very ornamental plant, it is occasionally cultivated for its edible leaves[1, 264]. It is not very hardy in Britain and will be killed even by a light frost[264]. It is, therefore, usually grown as a half-hardy annual, being sown in a greenhouse in the spring and used for summer bedding[52]. Plants have few problems with pests or diseases though the young plants are prone to root rot and damping off unless given plenty of ventilation and dry growing conditions[200].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse, only just covering the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Seedlings are prone to damp off so should not be over watered and should be kept in a very sunny well-ventilated position[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Juana del Castillo   Sun Oct 21 08:53:25 2001

If you want to know more information about diferrent uses of this plant you can get contact with Biologic University in Canary Islands(Facultad de Biologia de la Universidad de La Laguna. Botanic Departament. Islas Canarias). We know the plant with the common name of: Barrilla. This plant had an important roll in the economy of the Canary Islands. (In Spanish: Si quieren recopilar mas informacion acerca del uso de esta planta pueden ponerse en contacto con la Universidad de La Laguna, en las Islas Canarias. Ellos poseen amplia informacion sobre la misma y sobre su historia y usos. Esta planta tuvo un importante papel economico en el archipielago durante las pasadas centurias. En Canarias se la conoce con el nombre comun de: Barrilla.)

Sophie   Tue Jan 11 17:26:16 2005

I am searching information about the way to collect the seeds from the tiny fruits of this plant. I picked them last automn, before the first frost.

Robin Bate   Tue Sep 29 2009

on eof the ingriedents in Dr Hauschka treatment no 3 for skin

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Subject : Mesembryanthemum crystallinum  
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