Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale Haw.
Carpobrotus disparalis N.E.Br.
Common Name: Sea Fig
Carpobrotus aequilaterus is an evergreen, succulent, prostrate perennial plant with branched stems that can be 2 metres long. It forms a dense carpet of growth around 20cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes used as a soil stabilizer and is also sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a very effective ground cover.
Southern N. America - California, Mexico. Australia - New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria.
Naturalised in California where it grows along the coastal strand and in coastal sage scrub at elevations up to 100 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Carpobrotus aequilaterus is a plant of warm temperate regions in southeastern Australia, thriving in a Mediterranean climate. It is moderately cold tolerant, able to survive short-lived temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Requires a well-drained sandy soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants can be grown on dry walls or in the flower border[
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
]. Very resistant to wind and salt spray[
Plants are moderately fire-retardant[
A vigorous prostrate plant, rooting as it spreads. The flowers only open in the afternoon[
Fruit - raw[
]. They are said to remotely suggest the flavour of strawberry[
Leaves - baked[
]. A salty flavour[
]. We find them too mucilaginous to be enjoyable[
Species in this genus have a vigorous, prostrate growth habit, producing a dense carpet of foliage and making a very effective ground cover. They can be planted in maritime areas, especially in Mediterranean climates, in order to prevent soil erosion in sandy soils, dunes and on banks[
The plant has very fleshy leaves and is moderately fire-resistant. It can be used in barrier plantings to prevent the spread of forest fires[
Seed - surface sow early spring to early summer in a greenhouse. Lower night-time temperatures are beneficial. The seed usually germinates in 7 - 10 days at 23°c[
]. 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[