Carpobrotus juritzii (L.Bolus) L.Bolus
Mesembryanthemum dimidiatum Haw.
Mesembryanthemum juritzii L.Bolus
Carpobrotus dimidiatus is an evergreen, succulent, perennial plant producing branched, prostrate stems around 2 metres long. The plant forms a dense carpet of growth around 20cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is commonly used to treat skin problems in the young and the elderly in S. Africa[
]. It can be used to stabilize sandy soils near the sea.
Africa - coastal regions of eastern Africa from southern Mozambique to the eastern Cape
Sand dunes in coastal regions[
|Other Uses Rating
Carpobrotus dimidiatus is a plant of warm temperate to tropical coastal regions of southern east Africa. It is not very cold-hardy, but can tolerate short periods with temperatures falling to around -2°c[
Requires a well-drained sandy soil in a sunny position[
]. This species can thrive in most soils from sands to heavy clays[
]. Established plants are very drought resistant[
]. Very resistant to wind and salt spray[
The fleshy plant is moderately fire-retardant[
A vigorous prostrate plant, rooting as it spreads. The flowers only open in the afternoon[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A sourish flavour[
]. It can be used to make jam[
]. The fruit is fleshy, but astringent unless very ripe. The globular fruits are around 20mm in diameter[
]. Thick and fleshy[
]. A salty flavour[
The strained juice of the pounded leaf is used as a gargle for a sore throat and for treating thrush, digestive troubles, diarrhoea and dysentery[
Cloths soaked in the leaf juice are used for dressing burns and sometimes an ointment is made by melting the juice[
]. The leaf juice is applied to the skin to treat a range of skin problems[
A syrup made from the fruit is laxative[
The plant is regarded as a good source of catechol tannin, which is an effective astringent[
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[