Jewel-like, Gummi Plant
by Kim Frank
Not sure if it's a succulent, but dying to know what it is. I see these on the Sunset Cliffs, San Diego and they are like a tiny treasure. They look like jewel beads, or gum drops or something almost alien. Does anyone know what it is?
Hi Kim, these are Mesembryanthemum, the Livingstone Daisy. With luck, you could catch them blooming, but it will only be on bright days, as the flowers close at night, or if the day is cloudy.
The same plants in other colors (these types are pale pastel or white colors) are grown as a summer annual in gardens; they are so drought tolerant that they thrive in the worst conditions imaginable; hot sun, dry sandy soil, on steep hillsides.
They like to be cut back, and this can trigger another bloom cycle as long as the warm days continue. They readily reseed themselves too; in fact, that is most likely how those plants got there, because they are not native to the are.
Hope that helps,