PURPLE DEWPLANT

Disphyma crassifolium

Dewplant Family [Aizoaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8purple flower8mauve
flower
flower8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZMany
stem
stem8round

June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
This is an introduced and naturalised perennial plant from South Africa.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
A succulent, able to store and hold on to water in times of drought.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
The flowers are large at 2.5 - 4cm across (5cm max), solitary and bi-coloured: white at the inner displaying purple from about half-way onwards.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
The numerous petals are long, narrow and almost linear save for a slight gradual widening near the end.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
At the very centre are the 5 pale-yellow stigmas.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
Petals recurved slightly backwards forming a funnel shape.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
The stems are precumbent and somewhat woody,up to 1m in length, rooting at the nodes, with succulent dark-green turning purplish leaves that point skywards. The leaves are in opposite pairs, slightly triangular in cross-section having highly-rounded corners. Leaf tip is either mucronate or obtuse. It is thus able to spread and colonise large areas.


June 2014, near Land's End, Cornwall Photo: © Brent Clarkson
Leaves have translucent dots. In the centre a flower is about to open, it is cradled by 4 sepals and looks leaf-like until opened.


Not to be semantically confused with : Sundews such as Round-Leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), mor with Dewberry (Rubus caesius) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Easily mis-identified as : Sally-my-handsome (Carpobrutus acinaciformis) but rather than having leaves with a near-circular cross-section, they have instead an isosceles triangular cross section, thinner on one edge. Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Despite the numerous rayed petals this plant does not belong to the Dandelion & Daisy Family (Asteraceae).

This non-native alien plant is a garden escapee which now grows near the sea in parts of West Cornwall, East Kent, West Sussex and the Scilly Isles. Growing on cliffs, rocks, walls, and in sandy places. It was formerly placed in the Mesembryanthemum genus but has since been placed into the Disphyma genus. Both genera are within Aizoaceae, the Dewplant Family.

Mesembryanthemum means 'mid-day flowering'. The plants in the Mesembryanthemum genus are from the Mediterranean and are covered in dense white crystal-like vesicles - the only one growing in the UK is Common Iceplant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum), which is NOT the Ice-Plant (Sedum spectabile) that is commonly grown in gardens, for that is a member of the Stonecrop Family.


  Disphyma crassifolium  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Aizoaceae  

Distribution
 family8Dewplant family8Aizoaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Disphyma
Disphyma
(Purple Dewplant)

PURPLE DEWPLANT

Disphyma crassifolium

Dewplant Family [Aizoaceae]