Succulent Iceplant

(Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) Annual or biennial, to 10 inches. Prolific production of small daisy-like white to pink flowers in summer. A bed of Iceplant is oddly reminiscent of an undersea stand of sea anemones! The glistening, succulent leaves are edible--making a delicious, slightly tart spinach substitute. The crushed leaves also make a natural lather and have been used as a soap substitute. At one time the leaves were used to treat scurvy on long voyages, which explains its occurrence worldwide, seeds being present in soil dropped by ships in ballast dumps. Native to southern and western Africa. The plants also take up salt and have been used in bioremediation. Tolerates poor soils. Perennial in frost-free climates, where it may become invasive.


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