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Crystalline Ice Plant

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum


Unique groundcover that appears crystallized or beaded. The entire plant except the white flowers have this appearance. The crystals/beads are actually bladder cells. I have been looking for this plant for over a year since I saw this posted by another PN user. I just couldn't believe that such a plant existed despite finding this on a reference book.


On sandstone cliffs at Torrey Pines State Park. This is not native but has naturalized in the wild. It's native to Africa, Western Asia and Europe. "The California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) classifies the potential impact of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum on native ecosystems as moderate -- ALERT "


"The plant usually uses C3 photosynthesis, but when it becomes water- or salt-stressed, it is able to switch to CAM photosynthesis." - Wikipedia

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Caleb Steindel
Caleb Steindel 8 years ago

lovely flower

Thank you for your comments! I'm so glad you like this unique plant, too :)

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 8 years ago

How cool great series :)

LaurenZarate 8 years ago

Absolutely fascinating! I am so glad you looked for this and took such a magnificent picture!

Smith Zoo
Smith Zoo 8 years ago

Truly unique series!

I think so too, Jared.

JC_Forester 8 years ago

Nice specimen!

California, USA

Spotted on May 28, 2013
Submitted on May 28, 2013

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