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Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (Common Ice Plant)


Scientific Name

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.

Common Names

Common Ice Plant, Crystalline Ice Plant, Ice Plant


Cryophytum crystallinum, Gasoul crystallinum

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Mesembryanthemoideae
Genus: Mesembryanthemum


Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is a prostrate, succulent plant covered with bladder cells, enlarged epidermal cells. It can be annual, biennial or perennial, but its life cycle is usually completed within several months, depending on environmental conditions. It flowers from spring to early summer. Flowers open in the morning and close at night.

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USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The basics of Mesemb care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the mesembs' own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

Mesembs require a loam-based compost with the addition of extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.

Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the autumn as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.

Because different genera within the Mesemb family have different growing conditions, care mast be taken with watering. Some genera will benefit from a light spray water to prevent shrivelling during their dormant period… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mesembs


Native to Africa, Sinai and southern Europe, and naturalized in North America, South Africa and Australia.


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