Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum_crystalline iceplant_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Cryophytum crystallinum

Common names: crystalline iceplant; common iceplant

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (crystalline iceplant) is a low-growing annual or biennial succulent shrub (family Aizoaceae) found on coastal bluffs of the California coastline and the Channel Islands. It has been used as a landscape ornamental and is named for the small glistening vesicles that cover its leaves and stems. Crystalline iceplant inhibits the growth of native plants by accumulating salt in the soil and by leaving behind mats of dry plant matter that may take several years to decompose. It generally must colonize disturbed areas, and will not usually invade intact grasslands.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

  • West, P. (2001). Invasive species in northern Mexico. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2001. San Diego, California, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • (2006). "Conservation Across Borders" in San Jose. Cal-IPC News. 14: 11-12.