Ice PlantMesembryanthemum crystallinum
Unusual salad plant, closely related to Livingstone Daisy, which also has edible leaves. They belong to the same family as Fig Marigold, Aizoaceae, and originates from western Africa, towards Namibia. It also grows wild along the coasts of the Mediterranean and Arabia.
Common in Australia as a salad plant and as a crop protection against grass fires due to its large content of liquid.
Ice Plant is grown as an annual. When overwintering in a cool place in a flower pot, it creates small, white daisy-like flowers. The leaves are similar to spinach leaves in shape and size, but are thick and juicy, coated with icy pearls. As the ice after a light frost. The taste is not that special, fresh green with a little hint of citrus and a slight saltiness. It is mainly the texture that is appealing.
The icy crisp and crunchy leaves, mixed with other lettuces, gets the most tired salad to be perceived as fresh and crisp.
The seed is small and should be sown indoors 4-6 weeks before planting out after risk of frost is over. The plant grows low and widespread and in a nutritious soil becomes large with constant production of new leaves. Especially in late summer and autumn, when it thrives best.
1 g contains about 3500 seeds.