Hottentot Fig (Carpobrotus acinaciformis)

Perennial
Mesembryanthemum acinaciforme.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Hottentot Fig
Carpobrotus acinaciformis
Aizoaceae

Planted in maritime areas to prevent soil erosion in sandy soils and on steep banks[200]. Plants form a dense carpet and make an effective ground cover[208].

The plant is moderately fire-resistant and can be used in barrier plantings to prevent the spread of forest fires[200].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw[1, 61, 89]. There is very little flesh in the fruit and it must be fully ripe otherwise it is very astringent[K]. Insipid[46, 105, 177].

    Leaves – raw or cooked[2, 173]. Very mucilaginous, we find it very hard to enjoy them[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

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].
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 and can be killed by temperatures below about -2¡c. They have naturalized themselves on cliffs along the coast of S. Britain but do not succeed inland unless grown in a sunny sheltered position[200]. A vigorous prostrate plant, rooting as it spreads. The flowers only open in the afternoon[200].
S. Africa – Cape Province. Naturalized in Britain[1].

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.