Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Pigface, Sally-my-handsome, Sour Fig
Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carpobrotus (kar-poh-BROH-tus) (Info)
Species: acinaciformis (ah-see-na-SEE-for-mis) (Info)

Synonym:Mesembryanthemum acinaciforme

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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No positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Xenomorf On Sep 1, 2011, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

More synonyms of this plant are: Abryanthemum acinaciforme, Carpobrotus concavus, Carpobrotus vanzijliae, Carpobrotus laevigatus, Mesembryanthemum laevigatum, Carpobrotus laevigatus, Carpobrotus rubrocinctus, Mesembryanthemum rubrocinctum, Carpobrotus subalatus, Mesembryanthemum subalatum, Mesembryanthemum acinaciforme var. purpureum & Mesembryanthemum acinaciforme.

Neutral DMersh On Apr 12, 2010, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

This seems to thrive on the south coast in Britain but the plant appears to have very little resistance to frost and snow, I brought a piece back and planted it in the garden (inland, away from the coast) and after the winter snow had melted the plant was rotting mush. The lowest temperature during this time was about -8 or -9C. Another cutting under dry cover survived though, at the same temperature.

Negative Zaragoza On Nov 29, 2009, Zaragoza from Zaragoza
Spain (Zone 8b) wrote:

Carpobrotus acinaciformis is one of the worst pest weeds. Extremely invasive as few plants are, it eat the beaches where delicate native plants grow, covering all the sand and not allowing to grow the native plants. The success of this plant is in great part due to the vegetative reproduction: each cutting will root in any condition.

Despite this bad character, the plant is a good ground-cover if controlated, and extremely attractive for bees and other pollinators. Very resistant to drought and with very big flowers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Rockledge, Florida
Hatteras, North Carolina

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