Formula: C5H12O5 or C5H7(OH)5 Xylitol


  • Crystal system: orthorombic
  • Crystal shape: distorted octahedrons with additional facets along edges
  • Stability on air: stable


Xylitol is occasionally sold as sugar substitute for diabetics. Look for it in supermarkets or in drug stores.


Information regarding solubility of xylitol in the internet is controversial. I measured it experimentally, and found that the closest to reality number is 169g/100ml at 20C.

Xylitol grows easily, the size of crystal is limited by grower's patience and container size. My biggest crystal was grown in 3 weeks. Faster growth often introduces more defects. Still, the crystal is full of small iternal cracks.

How to grow it: prepare saturated solution by dissolving 169g of xylitol in 100ml of warm water. Let it cool and ensure that solution is saturated: drop a small crystal of xylitol in it, it should not dissolve in several hours. If it dissolved, heat the solution, add more and repeat. Then suspend a seed in the solution, cover it to slow down evaporation and wait.


Xylitol is safe to consume in reasonable quantities. In large quantities it have laxative effects (as other sugar alcohols). Xylitol is dangerous for dogs and birds!

More photos

My first large crystals of Xylitol, good shape but lots of cracks inside. Xylitol




Much clearer though smaller sample, grown from an almost perfect seed.