Sour fig

Sour fig

Carpobrotus edulis

Scientific name

Carpobrotus edulis is a creeping, mat-forming succulent species and member of the stone plant family Aizoaceae, one of about 30 species in the genus Carpobrotus.

The sour fig grows on coastal and inland slopes from Namaqualand in the Northern Cape through the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape. It is often seen as a pioneer in disturbed sites.

Leaves are eaten by tortoises. Puff adders and other snakes, such as the Cape cobra, are often found in Carpobrotus clumps, where they ambush the small rodents attracted by the fruits. Flowers are pollinated by solitary bees, honey bees, carpenter bees, and many beetle species. Flowers are eaten by antelopes and baboons. The clumps provide shelter for snails, lizards, and skinks. Fruits are eaten by baboons, rodents, porcupines, antelopes, and people, who also disperse the seeds.

The leaves and fruit have many uses including medicinal. See:

Other names: 'khoi'-vy, Klipbokvy, Perdevy, Rankvy, Rankvye, Strandvy, Suurvy, Vyerank, Vyeranke, Wilde Vijg

Read more

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.
We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #2 Delft 10
Site #3 Delft 8
Site #5 Delft 6
Site #8 Delft 8
Site #9 Delft 20
Site #11 Delft 60
Site #12 Delft 40
Site #13 Delft 6
Site #1 Delft 6
Site #15 Rosebank 30
Site #28 Mowbray 120
Site #44 Rosebank 500
Site #62 Newlands 30
Site #67 Rondebosch 250
Site #68 Rondebosch 500
Site #69 Rondebosch 250
Site #71 Rondebosch 250
Site #72 Rondebosch 250
Site #80 Rosebank 1000
Total 3344

Can you help grow this species?

We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!

I can help!

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value

It is a pioneer species suitable for establishing the soil in bare areas

Carpobrotus edulis is indigenous to: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos

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