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freeway ice plant, Hottentot-fig, ice plant, sour fig


to 3 m;

bark persistent, leathery.



blade sharply 3-angled in cross section, widest proximal to middle, adaxial side concave, outer angle serrate near apex, 5–11 × 1–1.5 cm.


pedicel 20–60 mm.


8–10 cm diam.;

calyx lobes 10–60 mm;

outer 2 lobes sharply 3-angled in cross section, abaxial angle serrate near apex, 30–60 mm;

inner 3 lobes smaller, with membranous margins;

petals (including petaloid staminodia) 100–200, yellow, aging pink, 2–4(–5)-seriate, 30–40 mm;

stamens 100 per series, yellow, 4(–7)-seriate, simple to plumose, 6–8(–12) mm;

anthers yellow;

stigmas radiating out over fruits, 8–15 mm.


yellowish, clavate to subglobose, depressed apically, 20–35 mm.


ca. 1000.


= 18.

Carpobrotus edulis

Phenology Flowering year-round, mostly spring.
Habitat Coastal dunes, bluffs and terraces, margins of estuaries
Elevation 0-100 m (0-300 ft)
from FNA
CA; FL; Mexico (Baja California); South America (Chile); Europe; s Africa; Pacific Islands (New Zealand); Australia [Introduced in North America]
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[BONAP county map]

Carpobrotus edulis is extensively planted in gardens and along highways and is also used for dune and bluff stabilization. An invasive, introduced species escaped from cultivation, C. edulis hybridizes with other Carpobrotus species. According to W. Wisura and H. F. Glen (1993), pink-flowered plants are seen in the wild only when C. edulis comes in contact with species of Carpobrotus with purple flowers.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 4, p. 87.
Parent taxa Aizoaceae > Carpobrotus
Sibling taxa
C. chilensis
Synonyms Mesembryanthemum edule
Name authority (Linnaeus) N. E. Brown: in E. P. Phillips, Gen. S. Afr. Fl. Pl., 249. (1926)
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