Carpobrotus dulcis L.Bolus
Carpobrotus fourcadei L.Bolus
Mesembryanthemum deliciosum L.Bolus
Common Name: Sweet Hottentot Fig
Plant growing in S. Africa
Photograph by: Abu Shawka
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
Carpobrotus deliciosus is a low-growing, evergreen, succulent perennial plant, forming a dense mat of growth that completely covers the soil.
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for its edible fruit and it is also cultivated both as an ornamental and for its ability to stabilize sandy soils.
S. Africa - Cape Province and Riversdale districts.
Grows on sand dunes and in rocky grassland[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Carpobrotus deliciosus is native to the warm temperate zone of S. Africa, growing best in a Mediterranean climate. It can also succeed in the drier parts of the tropics and subtropic. The plant is not very cold-hardy, able to tolerate short periods with temperatures down to about -5°c[
Requires a well-drained sandy soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants can be grown on dry walls or in the flower border[
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
]. Very resistant to wind and salt spray[
]. Moderately fire-retardant[
A vigorous prostrate plant, rooting as it spreads. The flowers only open in the afternoon[
Fruit - raw or used as a garnish for fruit salads[
]. The fruit can also be dried and eaten like candy or made into jams and preserves[
]. There is very little flesh in the fruit and it must be fully ripe otherwise it is very astringent[
Species in this genus have a vigorous, prostrate growth habit, producing a dense carpet of foliage and making a very effective ground cover. They can be planted in maritime areas, especially in Mediterranean climates, in order to prevent soil erosion in sandy soils, dunes and on banks[
The plant has very fleshy leaves and is moderately fire-resistant. It can be used in barrier plantings to prevent the spread of forest fires[
Seed - surface sow in containers. Lower night-time temperatures are beneficial. The seed usually germinates in 7 - 10 days at 23°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Cuttings at any time during the growing season. Allow the cutting to dry in the sun for a day or two then pot up in a very sandy mix. Very easy[
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