CRYSTAL ICE PLANT (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) SEEDS 'Bush Tucker Plant'
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Introduced from europe and africa, their unique physiology and ability to accumulate salt has enabled them to establish in disturbed and saline areas across southern australia.
A robust succulent herb or dense prostrate shrub to 1 m wide, plants are densely papillose with large bladder cells, especially prominent on the receptacle. These give the plant a glistening appearance, and hence the species name "Ice-plant"
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum can be annual, biennial or perennial
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is found on wide range of soil types, from well-drained sandy soils (including sand dunes), to loams and clays. It prefers acid, neutral or alkaline soils, but can tolerate nutritionally poor or saline soils
Flowers in spring to early summer , flowers open in the morning and close at night, and are insect pollinated
Seeds germinate during the cooler months of the year and the plants grow though to mid- or late-summer after which they dry out and die. Some plants may survive another year if conditions are favourable
This plant is related to barilla , saltbush and seablite and a relative of this plant is widely used throughout europe as a sea vegetable.
The leaves of m. Crystallinum are edible. Seeds can also be eaten. The crushed leaves can be used as a soap substitute and has some medicinal uses. Attractive pink flower buds and white flowers . These flower buds are much sort after by chefs as edible decoration .
The crystal ice plant can be used steamed , stir-fried or blanched. Is a great complement to seafood dishes.