geff.2007's picture


Observed: 14th September 2012 By: geff.2007geff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plantsgeff.2007’s reputation in Plants
Fig, Hottentot (1)
Fig, Hottentot (2)
Fig, Hottentot (4)
Fig, Hottentot (7)

Thought this was Hottentot-fig (Carpobrotus edulis) but now wonder if it is Sea Fig (Carpobrotus chilensis)? Both similar plants of beaches and sea cliffs with succulent triangular profile leaves with pointed end. Found a few still in flower, in this case deep pink but it appears both species also have yellow flowers.Any ideas as to which is most likely on shores of the Med.?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


derrick.rowe's picture

C edulis it is not.

If the flowers are about 10 cm diameter then C chilensis is most probable. C. edulis has yellow flowers but they all hybridize readily creating hybrid swarms very difficult to identify without DNA

geff.2007's picture

Thanks for your comment

Thanks for your comment Derrick. It is interesting to look at images of C.edulis on Google where the colours seem equally divided between yellow and magenta. The flowers in my photo were nowhere near 10cms (4")so more like C.edulis. On the other hand it talks about leaves of C.edulis being serrated towards the top which I can't see. It seems that without DNA we won't be certain so I will leave the ob. as it is so people can follow this thread.

derrick.rowe's picture

Possible parents?

Sadly, many images on Google are misidentified.
Dr Julie Hawkins (then?)of Reading University was given a grant in 2004 for a DNA study of naturalised Carpobrotus on the Lizard Peninsula (and South Africa) to ascertain parentage. I can find no published results on the WWW which is very disappointing as the money was provided by enthusiasts.
Preston & Sell (1988.) recognised three varieties of 'edulis' based on flower colour of British material that included purple. An extremely dubious diagnostic for taxa that so freely hybridise and were artificially sympatric in the UK. Indeed, the Aizoaceae and especially the ruschioideae create many intergeneric hybrids. A very 'plastic' group of taxa.