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PlantFiles: Hottentot Fig, Cape Fig, Fig Marigold, Highway Iceplant
Carpobrotus edulis

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Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carpobrotus (kar-poh-BROH-tus) (Info)
Species: edulis (ED-yew-liss) (Info)

Synonym:Mesembryanthemum edulis

One vendor has this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Alpines and Rock Gardens
Groundcovers
Perennials

Height:
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:
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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Pink
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Evergreen
Blue-Green
Smooth-Textured

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

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

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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Profile:

2 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative Baja_Costero On Aug 22, 2012, Baja_Costero from Baja California
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

Fast-growing, drought-tolerant, mat-forming groundcover. Very easy to start from cuttings, very common locally in public and private areas.

Two problems with this plant. The first is that it's an aggressive grower in the garden and not good at sharing space with other plants, above OR below ground. The second is that it's prone to escape, and has the potential to outcompete native plants in many areas (including coastal California and Baja California). At least one purple-flowered Carpobrotus species shares the same features.

There are many better options for succulent groundcovers, depending on your needs. Don't plant a Carpobrotus unless you're prepared to cut it back regularly. And don't toss your cuttings by the side of the road, because they'll get started growing there too.

Neutral Todd_Boland On Nov 30, 2009, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

There seems to be some confusion in regards to the ID of this plant. While many sources show magenta-pink flowers, the real C. edulis has yellow flowers aging to light pink. The bright magenta-pink species is C. acinaciformis.

Neutral stephenp On Nov 14, 2009, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

A nice plant, with vivid pink flowers, however it does become a problem when left to it's own devices. Spreads very quickly, and the only thing that is stopping it from escaping into the wild is the lack of cultivation around here.

The specimens that are grown on our peninsula are pretty much out of control.

Negative Kell On Jul 6, 2009, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

One of the top invasive plants of Big Sur and coastal Monterey county where there are some efforts to minimize its presence especially in the sand dunes before it totally eradicates native plants.

It spreads by rooting at each node that touches ground forming huge mats that squeeze out natives that cannot compete for sun, space and water. This was planted widely for soil stabilization but sadly has taken over some areas totally not allowing other plant life to live. It is highly decorative, turning red with stress and can cover itself with flowers in spring into summer.

Positive kfruit On Mar 5, 2009, kfruit from kelso
United Kingdom wrote:

This plant has very beautiful flowers. Unfortunately is a pernicious weed in most warmer parts of the world.
It doesent survive here in the south outside in the winter. But does grow in the English south on the Cornish coast.
It has been used to stabilise sand dunes etc. In California, where I have seen it on rough land off the road side near beaches.
It is a messy sprawling plant. No attempt appears to have been made to breed a tighter form. Which is a pity as it has very marketable flowers. This plant also occurs in Australia where a more stunted form has evolved. There is even an indeigenous relative which is called something like 'Saurocolon'.

Positive melody On Feb 3, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

The long trailing stems of this plant will root in contact with the soil. This probably helps in it's ability to survive and aids in it's charactistic of being able to prevent erosion.

The fruits are green, maturing to yellow , plump, flat at the top with several chambers.

Flowers are borne on short stalks, unlike the nearly stalkless flowers of the closely related C. chilensis...Sea Fig. It will also hybridize with C. chilensis.

Neutral palmbob On Apr 2, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

THis IS the ice plant you see all along the freeways in Southern California. Very drought tolerant, but appreciates water in the hot months (I see sprinklers on this stuff all year round- probably not the best use of water in our drought ridden state)

Neutral IslandJim On Mar 16, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This looks like the "ice plant" that is planted along the L.A. freeways. Is it?

Neutral Baa On Sep 15, 2001, Baa wrote:

Perennial succulent from South Africa which has naturalised on the coasts of Southern and Western Europe including the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Has triangular, fleshy, grey-green leaves tapering at the end and slightly curved, borne on woody prostrate stems. Bears daisy-like (almost dandelion-like) yellow flowers up to 5 inches across that open up after noon and turn pinkish later in the day. It has an indefinite spread and can therefore be invasive.

Flowers June to August.

It produces a fig like brown fruit which is edible and can be used as a preserve, the leaves are also edible and taste a little like a pickled cucumber.

Requires sharply drained soils and like to inhabit rocky places like cliffs. They have a use in binding sandy soils. They require weekly watering during the summer and a once yearly feed. Bring under shelter in frost prone areas.

Regional...

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

Globe, Arizona
Amesti, California
Benicia, California
Manhattan Beach, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
Florence, Oregon
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina



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