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Vascular Plants of California
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Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
CRYSTALLINE ICEPLANT


Higher Taxonomy
Family: AizoaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: FIG-MARIGOLD or ICEPLANT FAMILY
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1--many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1--20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0--20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1--many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. Note: Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California.
Unabridged Note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, +- smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, +- black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MesembryanthemumView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Common Name: ICEPLANT
Habit: Annual, biennial, glabrous. Stem: prostrate to ascending, cylindric, angled or winged, papillate. Leaf: alternate or opposite, petioled or not, cylindric or flat, +- red in age or stress, papillae prominent to flat, inconspicuous; bases of pair fused. Inflorescence: 1-flowered or cyme. Flower: sepals, petals free or fused at base; sepals (4)5, 2 often leaf-like; petals white; stamens many; nectar gland +- grooved; ovary 1/2-inferior, chambers (4)5(20), styles (4)5(20). Fruit: capsule, valves 5, dehiscing when moist. Seed: many, round, compressed, often D-shaped, minutely tubercled, light or dark red-brown.
Species In Genus: 15 species: southwestern Africa, Mediterranean, western Asia. Etymology: (Greek: midday-blooming)
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette
Unabridged Reference: McVaugh 1974 Taxon 23:820--821
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.
NATURALIZED
Stem: trailing, forked, < 1 m. Leaf: blade 2--20 cm, ovate to spoon-shaped, lower +- cordate. Inflorescence: cyme, +- sessile. Flower: hypanthium spheric, aging red; sepals 5, equal; petals aging pink. Fruit: course-papillate. Seed: brown, rough.
Ecology: Common, coastal bluffs, cliffs, disturbed ground; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo, SCo, ChI; Distribution Outside California: to Arizona, Mexico; also Mediterranean, South America, Australia, Africa; native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: Mar--Oct Note: Reported from roadside in DSon but not persisting.
Jepson eFlora Author: Nancy J. Vivrette
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

botanical illustration including Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

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Citation for this treatment: Nancy J. Vivrette 2012, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=33362, accessed on December 15, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on December 15, 2019.

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
click for enlargement
© 2017 California Academy of Sciences
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse

More photos of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Mesembryanthemum crystallinum:
NCo, CCo, SCo, ChI
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.