Carpobrotus Species, Cape Fig, Fig Marigold, Highway Iceplant, Hottentot Fig

Carpobrotus edulis

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


Alpines and Rock Gardens



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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 softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Globe, Arizona

Amesti, California

Benicia, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Interlaken, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Pajaro, California

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Barbara, California

Watsonville, California

Las Vegas, Nevada

Florence, Oregon(2 reports)

Bluffton, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 18, 2016, SyrJet from Santa Barbara, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

In my experience, this is a very aggressive plant and hard to eradicate once established.


On Mar 2, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species has naturalized in Florida and California, and the CAL-IPC has listed it as invasive of natural habitat in the latter. There are other similar succulents (eg Delosperma sp.) that are well behaved and would be preferable as groundcovers and garden plants in California.

It is the only member of its genus with yellow flowers. Plants with magenta flowers (naturalized in California) are likely to be C. chilensis, which CAL-IPC has also listed as invasive.

This highly aggressive spreader is definitely not suitable for rock gardens, nor is it alpine.


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 ... read more


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.


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.


On Jul 6, 2009, Kell from (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.


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'.


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.


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)


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?


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 bin... read more