Mesembriantem - Mesembryantemum

Mesembriantem - Mesembryantemum

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Mesembriantemo is a genus that belongs to the Aizoaceae family, of South African origin and to which more than 100 different species belong. This type of plant is more suitable for outdoor living on the ground, although it can also survive in an apartment. It produces large ground cover bushes that often cover rocky places and cliffs. It can be recognized not only for its greyish green, but also for its large flowers that have really bright colors and its fleshy, medium-long and narrow leaves. This plant is really beautiful and enriches the floral décor of your garden, thanks to its colorful flowers that open when the sun is direct. It grows very quickly and from a small grounded plant, it is often possible to obtain large bushes.

Environment and exposure

The Mesembriantemo must be placed in a very bright context and with direct sunlight. If the plant is in a pot, it should be placed in a bright environment but protected from sunlight and drafts.

If the plant is placed in a mild environment, it can last for a long time. Try not to keep the plant below 5 degrees.


It is a succulent plant and loves an unpressed soil; the ideal is the typical rocky terrain that can be found by the sea. If you put the Mesembriantemo in a vase, you need to keep the soil fairly moist. The most suitable compound has a good part of peat and a layer of sand should be placed on the bottom of the pot, so that the water does not stagnate; always choose a land that is not very fertile because the plant tends to bloom little and produce too many leaves.

Planting and repotting

Preferably, this plant should be placed directly on the ground. If the temperatures are low, then you can think about potting the plant. The Mesembriantemo grows fast but much less if placed in pots; the repotting will be performed every two years, approximately and in the spring period. The vase you choose will be slightly larger than the previous one. When the plant is adult, a pot of about twenty centimeters in diameter should suffice.


When the Mesembriantemo is planted on the ground, it will only have to be watered if there have been few rains; in the case of a potted plant, this will be watered more frequently during the hot season and little during the winter season. Always pay attention to the ground which must never be too wet.


During the growing season, which starts in May and ends at the end of September, it will be advisable to add NPK-based liquid fertilizer to the watering water which guarantees complete nutrition to the plant.


Mesembrianthus reproduces through the seed. Its small fruits are full of seeds which, in nature, are scattered when the capsule opens. The operation must be performed in spring, around April and the seeds are scattered on the ground, without burying them. When they have reached a sufficient size of at least two centimeters, they can be moved to the final pot.

Reproduction can also take place by leaf or stem cuttings; this operation must be performed at the end of summer towards September and the part must be allowed to dry for a couple of days, before placing it in soil rich in sand.


This type of plant does not require special pruning, if not the dry leaves and withered flowers; pruning should be done in the winter.

Flowering and fruit

The flowers of the Mesembriantemo are quite large and can have red, white, yellow and pink colors; they are typically about 5 centimeters in diameter. The flowers begin to appear as early as May, to finish around September; each flower has a life of about one week. Flowering produces a very pleasant nocturnal odor, while its flowers have no odor during the day. It also produces small inedible fruits that are like dry capsules, which when wet with humidity or rainwater, open and disperse the seeds that are inside.

Diseases and parasites

The Mesembriantemo fears the cochineal that leaves white spots and the aphids that make the plant sticky. In addition to the normal aphids, the Mesembriantemo is a delicate plant that easily risks being attacked by some viruses. If this happens, the plant will be burned to prevent the virus from attacking other plants.


Mesembriantemo is easily found in any type of nursery; many of its 100 species are found and the unit cost is really low.

Most common species

Mesembriantemo Crystallinum, has the characteristic of small narrow leaves, covered with white flakes reminiscent of sugar grains. This species is also called "ice grass" because of this peculiarity. It is an annual and not a perennial plant.

Mesembriantemo Acinaciforme is a perennial species that produces single red or pink flowers.


Unlike other succulents that bloom in the early morning or in the night, many Mesembriantem species bloom in the middle of the day.

The roots of Mesembriantemo are rich in an alkaloid substance that can lead to delirium if it is ingested in large quantities.

Mesembriantem - Mesembryantemum

    other articles:
    • Succulents for sunny areas
    • Succulents for dry soil
    • Succulents resistant to short frosts
    • Pink flowering succulents
    • Green flowering succulents
    • Succulents with flower in spring
    • Succulents with flower in summer
    • Succulents with flower in autumn
    • Succulents with flower in winter
    • Succulents that can be grown in pots
    • Ground cover succulents
    • Evergreen succulents


  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Uses
  • 3 Culture and society
  • 4 Species
  • 5 Gallery
  • 6 Legal status
    • 6.1 United States
      • 6.1.1 Louisiana
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Notes and references
  • 9 External links

Jacob Breyne coined the name of the flower in 1684, using the spelling Mesembrianthemum ("midday flower" [3]), from the Greek roots μεσημβρία, meaning "noon", and ἄνθεμον, meaning "flower", because the species known at his time flowered at midday. In 1719, on the discovery that some species flowered at night, Johann Jacob Dillenius changed the spelling to Mesembryanthemum ("flower with the pistil in the center" [3]), rederiving the first part of the word from Greek μεσος ("middle") and ἔμβρυον ("pistil" or "embryo"). Carl Linnaeus used the Dillenius spelling (with the "y") in his description of the Mesembryanthemum species and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature requires the retention of the original, deliberate spelling. [3] [4]

Mesembryanthemums are often cultivated as ornamental plants for their showy flowers. Ornamental plants may escape into the wild and consequently has become widely naturalized outside their native range. They are considered an invasive weed in certain places.

Some Mesembryanthemum species are thought to be hallucinogenic plants, like related Aizoaceae, [5] and as such may be subject to legal restrictions (e.g. Louisiana State Act 159).

As of March 2019 [update], Plants of the World Online accepted the following species: [6]

L. Amoenus: 25 cm high, 30 cm in diameter, the leaves are cylindrical and bright green in color, which turn red in full sun. The flowers are red about 8 cm wide.

L. Aurantuacus: reaches 45 cm in height and forms a sparse bush with glaucous cylindrical leaves, the flowers are bright orange and open from late summer to autumn.

L. Conspicuus: creeper 30 cm high, with triangular section leaves of bright green curved and red at the top. The flowers are purplish red.

L. Falcatus: slow-growing plant with twisted branches, large pink flowers bloom in summer.

L. Roseus: up to 40 cm high, the leaves are bright green, tapered, with a triangular section. It produces pink flowers about 4 cm wide

Care of mesembriantemo, mesem or frosted plant

The genre Mesembrianthemum , of the Aizoaceae family, is composed of succulent plants originating in southern Africa. Some species I'm : Mesembrianthemum nodiflorum, Mesembrianthemum crystallinum, Mesembryanthemum roseum, Mesembryanthemum aberdeenense, Mesembryanthemum cordifolium. Some species are often included in the genera Dorotheanthus and Carpobrotus.

It also receives the common names of Mesem, Frost, Earth Anemone, Dew Flower or Lion's Claw.

I'm creeping plants to fleshy green-yellow leaves with small crystalline papillae. The decorative flowers they have fine petals which can be pink, white, yellow or orange. They bloom abundantly in the summer.

Mesem is an ideal plant for gardens with a Mediterranean climate, even by the sea, as a cover for slopes and embankments. You can also have them as hanging plants in window boxes or in pots for terraces and balconies.

These plants need very sunny exposure and rather hot temperatures.

They can thrive in any type of soil as long as it is very well drained (sand can be added).

Irrigation it is very important that it be moderate throughout the year ( it is resistant to drought ) since excessive irrigation will produce less flowering.

The annual fertilizer for the garden it is enough for them. If they are grown in containers, it is advisable to add a mineral fertilizer for succulents every fortnight in summer.

More than the dimension , what they need is for us to control their growth so they don't become invasive.

It is a plant very resistant to pests and diseases, but does not tolerate excessive irrigation , which causes fungal diseases.

As long as the plant isn't in bloom, that's easy multiply it by means of cuttings that will be transplanted in autumn or winter.

Mesembrianthus culture

These species are ideal for growing in temperate or temperate-warm climates. Plant outdoors in early spring on sloping, stony, steep or sandy soils. Remember to plant 25 cm away from each other and water after sowing to ensure good contact of the roots with the substrate. Spray a gibberellic acid solution in early spring and multiply by cuttings in spring, the new plants will bloom by the end of the season.

Mesembriantemos is a plant that lasts several seasons but it is convenient to renew them every two years. Do not forget that they are very sensitive to cold and therefore, in open spaces, you will have to protect them from frost. Consistently moist soils affect flowering, so they benefit from a week-long drought in mid-spring.

Cultivation of the Mesembriantemosen vase requires an annual change of the pot in early spring.

What do you think of this post on the interview and the culture of Mesembriantemo ? Leave your comments.

How to match the mesembriantemo successfully

This plant it goes very well with other succulent plants which, like her, have needle-like foliage, lovers of positions in full sun and that do not suffer from periods of drought. Choose for example Doroteanthus and Delosperma, they can even be planted in the same pot if of adequate size. Colored mixes are also recommended using ground cover plants typical of rock gardens.

If you combine mesembriantemi with Portulaca (an annual, succulent, lush flowering plant) you will get a very nice color effect with minimal effort.

Video: how to grow mesembryanthemumice plant