mesem, noun

Also mesemb, and with initial capital.
Shortened form of genus name Mesembryanthemum, ‘first coined by Jacob Breyne in 1689 to convey the meaning “noon-flowering” from the Greek “mesembria” meaning midday; it was adopted by Linnaeus when he founded the genus.’ (D. Court, Succulent Flora of Sn Afr., 1981, p.31).
vygie. Also attributive.
1928 H.M.L. Bolus Notes on Mesembrianthemum I. 7By far the larger number..are at the height of their glory when the sun is hottest. They are what might be called the ‘normal Mesembs’.
1928 H.M.L. Bolus Notes on Mesembrianthemum I. 67In these days everyone who observes flowers at all is familiar with the meaning of ‘vijgie’, ‘Mesemb.’ or even the formidable Mesembrianthemum or ‘noon-flower’.
1934 C.P. Swart Supplement to Pettman. 184Vingerkanna,..The common name of Hymenocylus Smithii, a species of mesem.
1965 S. Eliovson S. Afr. Wild Flowers for Garden 287There is scarcely a garden in South Africa that has not known the beauty and brilliance of the flowers of the mesemb or vygie in the spring.
1979 Daily Dispatch 25 Oct. 19A blaze of many-coloured lampranthus and related plants of the ‘mesem’ or vygie family.
1988 M. Branch Explore Cape Flora 18They (sc. vygies) are succulents with fleshy leaves, and belong to the family Mesembryanthemaceae — ‘mesems’ for short — which means ‘midday flower’.
1991 D.M. Moore Garden Earth 195‘Mesems’ (succulents of the family Aizoaceae),..include Mesembryanthemum, with its daisylike flowers in brilliant pinks, oranges and yellows.
vygie. Also attributive.

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