Carpobrotus edulis - Hottentot Fig

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Caryophyllales - Family: Aizoaceae

Carpobrutus edulis

This alien species, originally from southern Africa, is naturalised in many parts of Europe and the Mediterranean. It is a succulent plant and so well adapted to the hot and dry conditions found in the Mediterranean region, where it forms dense and showy mats of leaves and flowers. It is frequently cultivated. In the UK it is most common in the west and can be found close to the coast in West Wales, Devon and Cornwall in particular.

A mauve or pink-flowered form of the plant is often interspersed with the yellow ones; they are members of the Aizoon family (Aizoaceae).

pink hottentot fig

The specific name edulis refers to the edible nature of the reddish seeds of the plant, which can be eaten raw or dried but are more commonly used to make jam or syrup.

This specimens shown here were photographed in the Algarve in April.


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