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Carpobrotus deliciosus - (L.Bolus.)L.Bolus.

Common Name Sweet Hottentot Fig
Family Aizoaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. Africa - Cape Province and Riversdale districts.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Carpobrotus deliciosus Sweet Hottentot Fig


Carpobrotus deliciosus Sweet Hottentot Fig

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Carpobrotus deliciosus is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or used as a garnish for fruit salads[183, 200]. The fruit can also be dried and eaten like candy or made into jams and preserves[183]. There is very little flesh in the fruit and it must be fully ripe otherwise it is very astringent[K].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fire retardant  Soil stabilization

The plant is moderately fire-retardant and can be planted as a barrier to the spread of forest fires in Mediterranean and similar climates[200]. Planted on sunny banks and sandy soils in order to prevent soil erosion[200].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a well-drained sandy soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Plants can be grown on dry walls or in the flower border[166]. Established plants are very drought resistant[200]. Very resistant to wind and salt spray[166]. Moderately fire-retardant[200]. Plants are not very frost resistant , they can be damaged by temperatures below about -2°c and only succeed outdoors in the milder areas of the country[200]. A vigorous prostrate plant, rooting as it spreads. The flowers only open in the afternoon[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - surface sow March to June in a greenhouse. Lower night-time temperatures are beneficial. The seed usually germinates in 7 - 10 days at 23°c[138]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. 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[K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Carpobrotus acinaciformisHottentot FigPerennial0.1 8-11  LNDM203
Carpobrotus aequilaterusSea FigPerennial0.2 7-10  LMNDM203
Carpobrotus edulisHottentot Fig,Perennial0.1 7-10  LNDM222
Carpobrotus glaucescensPigfacePerennial0.3 8-11  LMHSNDM322
Carpobrotus modestusInland PigfacePerennial0.2 8-11  LMHSNDM00 
Carpobrotus rossiiKarkallaPerennial0.2 8-11  LMHSNDM00 
Carpobrotus virescensCoastal PigfacePerennial0.5 8-11  LMHSNDM00 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

(L.Bolus.)L.Bolus.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

John Comeau   Thu Sep 28 2006

The leaves are also edible though hardly palatable raw; too salty and bitter. Adding vinegar may help. Requires moist soil? I don't think so, at least not after the first two weeks it requires to root properly. It's one of the most drought-tolerant plants you're likely to find.

blog of intrepid wanderer search google for references to carpobrotus with specifier site:jcomeau.freeshell.org

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