Cryophytum cleistum L.Bolus
Cryophytum gibbosum N.E.Br.
Cryophytum nodiflorum (L.) L.Bolus
Cryophytum rogersii L.Bolus
Gasoul nodiflorum (L.) Rothm.
Mesembryanthemum caducum Aiton
Mesembryanthemum copticum L.
Mesembryanthemum inornatum L.Bolus
Mesembryanthemum paucandrum L.Bolus
Psilocaulon caducum (Aiton) N.E.Br.
Stigmatocarpum caducum (Aiton) L.Bolus
Common Name: Slender-leaved Iceplant
Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum is a prostrate to ascending, succulent annual plant, branched from the base, growing 15 - 20cm tall. Often growing in a group, it can form a mat of vegetation[
The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens and is reported to be harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum has escaped from cultivation in various areas (including southwestern N. America, Australia and the Mediterranean), and become established in suitable habitats in the wild. It is able to out-compete native species by its habit of concentrating salt in its leaves and then secreting this onto the ground, making surface conditions too saline for native plants to germinate[
Southern Africa - S. Africa.
Coastal bluffs, margins of saline wetlands; at elevations up to 100 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Requires a sunny position. Easily grown in an ordinary well-drained garden soil[
]. Succeeds in any well-drained low-fertility soil.
This species uses the 'Crassulacean Acid Metabolism' (CAM) pathway to photosynthesis, a mechanism which aids in conserving moisture. The plant keeps its stomata closed during the day, opening them during the night when it takes in carbon dioxide and stores it in compounds such as malic acid. It then utilizes this carbon dioxide when photosynthesizing during the day. This type of mechanism is used by a range of mainly succulent plants, including cacti and Euphorbia species.
The whole plant is consumed as a cereal[
]. A rather strange report - the plant is very succulent. Perhaps it is referring more to either the fruit or the small seed[
Due to its ability to accumulate salt, this species has been used for the desalination of soil and it has been suggested that it could be used in bioremediation projects[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse, only just covering the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Seedlings are prone to damp off so should not be over watered and should be kept in a very sunny well-ventilated position[