Mesembryanthemum aitonis Jacq.

Hort. Bot. Vindob. 3: 8, t.7 (1777) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Annual or biannual trailing subshrub, stems, leaves and calyx tinged red, covered by fine, glistening, bead-like papillae; branches angled. Leaves opposite at base, ovate or spathulate, 1–5 cm long, 0.5–1.5(–3) cm wide. Flowers leaf-opposed, shortly pedicellate; ovary inferior; receptacle obconic to oblong, 5–7 mm diam.; sepals spathulate, 6–8 mm long, distinctly keeled, tinged red, the inner 2 broader with membranous margins; staminodes white, often yellowish in bud, sometimes tinged pink, subequal to sepals. Capsule obconic, angled, 5–7 mm long, sepals reflexing and opening to c. 15 mm diam.; seeds brown, D-shaped, c. 0.5 mm long, tuberculate.    Flowers Aug.–Feb.

*GipP, *MuM, *RobP, *VVP. Also naturalised WA, SA, NSW. Native to South Africa.

In Victoria it was originally collected at Corio Bay and Coode Island near the mouth of the Yarra River between 1901 and 1911, and was presumed extinct until rediscovered at Port Melbourne in 2010, where found in weed dominated 'wasteland'. Probably introduced at both sites through shipping from South Africa

Created by: Val Stajsic, 2018-05-28
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-05-28
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Caryophyllanae
family Aizoaceae
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Mesembryanthemum aitonis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Mesembryanthemum aitonis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales