Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum_crystalline iceplant_JM DiTomaso
Photo: 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 is native to South Africa, but has been used as a landscape ornamental.  It 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.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate — Alert?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum_leaves and flower_copyright2010_NealKramer
    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (crystalline iceplant) leaves and flower. Photo: &#169 2010 Neal Kramer