Garden Alphabet: Common Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)

Common Ice Plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum)

Ice plant

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is a prostrate succulent plant native to AfricaSinai and southern Europe, and naturalized in North AmericaSouth America and Australia.[1] The plant is covered with large, glistening bladder cells or water vesicles, reflected in its common names of common ice plantcrystalline iceplant or ice plant.[1] The bladder cells are enlarged epidermal cells. The main function of these bladder cells is to reserve water.[2] It can be annual, biennial or perennial, but its life cycle is usually completed within several months, depending on environmental conditions.[2]

M. crystallinum is found on a wide range of soil types, from well-drained sandy soils (including sand dunes), to loamy and clay soils. It can tolerate nutritionally poor or saline soils. As with many introduced species it also grows in disturbed sites such as roadsides, rubbish dumps and homestead yards.[2] — Wikipedia


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