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Trichodiadema barbatum (Pickle Plant)


Scientific Name

Trichodiadema barbatum Schwantes

Common Names

Pickle Plant


Mesembryanthemum barbatum, Mesembryanthemum stellatum, Mesembryanthemum stelligerum, Trichodiadema stellatum, Trichodiadema stelligerum

Scientific Classification

Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Trichodiadema


Trichodiadema barbatum is a slow-growing succulent that can reach up to 12 inches (30 cm) in height. It is erect at first then lays over to become a groundcover with a tuberous root base barely exposed. The leaves are cylindrical, up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) long, green, tipped with tufty bristles of soft white hairs. The flowers are small, pink to light purple with a yellow center, and appear in the later winter to mid-spring. They open fully around midday when grown in bright light or full sun.

Trichodiadema barbatum (Pickle Plant)

Photo by Cok Grootscholten


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants which are not especially large and sometimes very small, and affects the way they need to be treated in cultivation.

The basics of 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' adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.

These plants 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 withstand temperatures down to the freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.


Trichodiadema barbatum is native to South Africa.


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