The mesembs belong to the family Mesembryanthemaceae, a very large family with more than 100 genera and about 1600-1800 known species. The main distribution for the family is in Southern Africa with species extending into East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, Australia, and New Zealand. Mesembs are widely-spread and is found in all 9 provinces of South Africa. The plants occupy a wide range of habitats. From dry rocky areas, to high rainfall grass-veld. Leaf succulence is mostly represented by the species in the family, but stem or tuberous succulence is also known. Their growth-habit varies considerably from tufted perennials to two leaved succulents, ground-covers or large shrubs.
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