Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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iceplant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, one of the better-known edible members of a group of succulent plants, with fleshy leaves, from the tropical regions of the southern hemisphere. The leaves of the iceplant are covered with silvery spots resembling frost, and have a pleasantly acid flavour. The plant was introduced to Europe and N. America in the 18th century as a substitute for spinach, capable of resisting very hot weather. It was not successful in that role, but flowering garden species of Mesembryanthemum remain popular.