Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mesembryanthemum

Mesembryanthemum

Mesembryanthemum chilensis ( Sea Fig )
Also called Carpobrotus chilensis. A native succulent groundcover perennial, that is native to beaches and sand dunes in south Africa. It has become abundant to invasive on the west coast of the U.S.
The leaves are edible though not very taste and the succulent edible fruits are tasty though a bit salty.

* photo of unknown internet source


Mesembryanthemum crystallinum ( Ice Plant )
A succulent, groundcover perennial plant, reaching up to 6.5 feet across, that is native to South Africa, It is now naturalized in coastal California where it has even become invasive in some areas along with Hottentot Fig. It makes an excellent fire retardant groundcover for Mediterranean climates.
The leaves are up to 4 inches in length. The leaves can be used as a salad or pot herb.
The fruits picked in summer can be eaten raw, cooked or dried.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 in full sun to partial shade on most well drained ( including saline ) soils.
Propagation is from stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, division or seed.

Mesembryanthemum edule ( Hottentot Fig )
Also called Carpobrutus edule. It is a popular groundcover for planting along highways and on commercial properties. It is native to South Africa but has become naturalized on the west coast of the U.S.
The foliage is edible but tastes bad.
The fruits are edible and sweet tasting. They are also enjoy be ground squirrels and other wildlife.

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