Only low saline conditions benefited yield and quality of iceplant grown in pot culture


  • M. Carmen Rodríguez-Hernández University of Alicante, Spain
  • Idoia Garmendia University of Alicante, Spain



Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L. or iceplant is an annual facultative halophyte adapted to extreme environmental conditions, as salinity. This characteristic has special importance in the Mediterranean region, where the drought conditions entail the most important problems of soil and water salinity. Furthermore, there is currently a great gastronomic interest for this plant due to its soft texture, fresh and salty taste, high content of water and beneficial compounds for health. Therefore, the objective of this work was to establish the optimal salt growth conditions for pot cultivation of iceplant in greenhouse. Thus, the effect of different salinity levels (0, 100, 200 and 300 mM NaCl) under controlled conditions was evaluated.

Severe salinity treatments reduced crop production. However, results showed that the 100 mM NaCl treatment benefited plant growth. This treatment showed greater leaf fresh weight and area, pigment content and maintained its root and shoot biomass similar to control values. In addition, compared to control plants, salinity increased the specific leaf area and leaf relative water content, reduced leaf starch and K concentrations. Therefore, results confirm that iceplant pot culture can be strategically perform under low salinity conditions with an enhancement or maintenance of crop yield and quality.