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Hi, we got this really unique mystery plant from our local garden nursery (they plant all the pots at our office) however, nobody seems to know what it is or how we ended up with it. Any idea of its name would be great.

It has both bright pink and peach to pale yellow flowers, which open up in full sun, and then close up as shown in the pics when it comes into shade or a cloudy day. It has a trailing ground cover type of growth, with vivid purple pink stems and sage green leaves.

It’s an odd plant, but we like it, and want to ensure we are caring for it properly.

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Stephanie, this is Mesembryanthemum, or the Livingstone Daisy. Several plants that are similar go by the same common name, which does cause some confusion. The one I know from childhood has crystal like leaves, with a funny rubbery texture. Yours may be a little different, but they all like the same type of cultivation.

They are desert plants, originating in parts of South Africa, thriving and blooming as long as the sun shines, and they love well drained soil and drought.

Grown as annuals (plants that bloom and set seed and die in one season) in our climate, they make great container plants. You’ve noted the trait of opening their blooms in the sun and closing up again as evening falls. They are easy to grow from seed, quite often re-seeding themselves if the seed pods are left.

Probably what happened is exactly this, some seeds fell into the planter as it was being planted, and you got a surprise gift.

Enjoy your lovely little daisy blooms while they last.


red and green water bubbles plant?

by Alicia Osmundson
(Berkeley CA)


I found this plant in Baja in the cacti forests. It’s quite small, the bud being about the size of a nickel and firm to the touch although if you pressed down the bubbles would pop…I’ve been wondering for a while what it is. Any help?

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Alicia – what a cool plant! Honestly, I have no clue what it is. You would have to find an expert in the flora of that part of the world, such as a botanist at a university in California. They would know what it is, due to its unusual appearance…or possibly, an expert in alien life forms…

Good luck

Comments for red and green water bubbles plant?

Aug 05, 2011
by: June

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum

Aug 02, 2013
Wish I knew as well!!!
by: Josue Madrid

I stumbled upon this same plant and I thought it was the most wonderful thing I’d seen in the deserts of California. It’s been eating me not knowing what it is called and I would love to find out everything about this plant.

May 28, 2014
Bubble plant
by: Carolyn

I found is plant growing in Big Sur Calif in may different places along the coast line. I thought is was one of the most beautiful plants I have seen.

Jun 17, 2016
also found across the Atlantic…
by: Ari

I’ve just come across this plant growing wild in Lanzarote (Canary islands)

Jun 26, 2017
by: Antonio

It is called Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. It is beautiful!