Mesembryanthemum rossii Haw.
Common Name: Karkalla
Carpobrotus rossii is a prostrate, spreading, evergreen, succulent, perennial plant that can form a dense mat of growth that can be 3 metres or more wide and up to 20cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It can be used to stabilize sandy soils near the sea.
Australia - Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania.
Coastal dunes on white or grey sands[
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Carpobrotus rossii is a plant of warm temperate regions in southern Australia, growing mainly in coastal regions. 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[
]. 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[
]. The soft, wet pulp tastes like salty strawberries or juicy fresh figs[
]. Fleshy, but astringent unless very ripe. The globular fruits are around 20mm in diameter[
]. Thick and fleshy[
]. A salty flavour[
The plant (fruit?) has been used as a purgative[
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[