Thursday, 22 September 2016


Carpobrotus glaucescens, commonly known as angular sea-fig or pigface, is a species of flowering plant in the Aizoaceae (ice plant) family. It is a succulent coastal ground-cover native to temperate eastern Australia. The succulent leaves are 3.5–10 cm long and 9–15 mm wide, straight or slightly curved. The flowers are 3.2–6 cm wide, and light purple. The red to purple fruit is 2–3 cm long and 1.6–2.4 cm wide.

The fruit pulp is edible, with a flavour like salty strawberry or kiwifruit. The skin is discarded. The leaves are also edible cooked, and can be used as a preserved pickles. Fruit of the plant can also be made into a toffee or jam. The roasted leaves have been used as a salt substitute. Early European explorers used the plant as an anti-scurvy treatment. The juice of the leaves can also be used to relieve pain from insect bites. Carpobrotus comes from the Greek ‘karpos' (fruit) and ‘brota' (edible things) and refers to the edible fruits.

As would be expected C. glaucescens is very salt tolerant and is able to withstand salt spray, strong winds and sand blast. If covered with sand the plant can survive, grow upwards and produce a new plant mat over the old one. Pigface is generally a summer-spring growing plant. It can be grown either from seed or cuttings. Propagation is easiest by layering (rooting horizontal stem cuttings), as this is how the plant grows naturally. These layers should be around 30 cm in length and planted leaving at least 5 cm of the plant above the sand or soil. The plant can also be grown from cut pieces or division of large plants.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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