Carpobrotus chilensis (Chilean Sea Fig)
Carpobrotus chilensis (Chilean Sea Fig) is an edible succulent that sends out up to 6.6 feet (2 m) long, prostrate stems that root at the nodes. The…
Description [ edit ]
Carpobrotus chilensis sends out prostrate stems that are 2 metres or more long that root at the nodes and can carpet the ground, with fleshy, pointed leaves which are triangular in cross-section. It is similar to, and often mistaken for, its close relative "ice plant" (Carpobrotus edulis), which is larger, grows alongside and sometimes hybridizes with it. For comparison, the larger, 2.5 to 6 inches (64 to 152 mm) diameter flowers of C. edulis are yellow or light pink, whereas the 1.5 to 2.5 inches (38 to 64 mm) diameter C. chilensis flowers are deep magenta and are smaller than those of ice plant.. 
Growing well in poor sandy soil, this species is hardy and can withstand disturbance by humans, which is common on the well-travelled beaches where it grows. This trait gives it an advantage over many native plant species, causing it to become a threat to native coastal ecosystems where it has invaded.
The flowers open in the morning and close at night, and its can bloom and fruit all year round. 
Carpobrotus chilensis - garden
Origin and Habitat: Carpobrotus chilensis is thought to be native to south Africa, but it's original home is lost to history. This species is familiar in the coastline of western North America and in parts of South America (from Oregon to Chile), where it is an introduced invasive species that has taken hold and become common. It has also been planted extensively for coastal dune stabilization, highway landscaping and as an ornamental in Mediterranean Europe, Canary Islands, Germany, Chile, Argentina, and Australia.
Altitude: 0-100 metres above sea level.
Habitat: It forms extensive mats that spread out over sandy flats and dunes or coastal bluffs, margins of estuaries and along roadsides. This species is hardy and can withstand the disturbance by humans which is common on the well-traveled beaches where it grows. This trait gives it an advantage over many native plant species causing it to become a threat to native coastal ecosystems where it has invaded. It propagates by seed and vegetatively. Even small stem fragments can regenerate into a new plant, making control difficult. In Australia, Carpobrotus is considered an invasive pests in native plant communities.
Description: Carpobrotus chilensis, commonly known by the common name sea fig, is a species of succulent plant with fleshy triangular leaves and bright magenta flowers with yellow anthers that open in the morning and closes at evening.
Habit: It is a long-lived, spreading or mat-like perennial leaf succulent.
Stems: Up to 2 m long, trailing, rooting at the nodes with grey fracturing bark with mahogany, shiny surface beneath.
Leaves: Opposite, thick, elongate, widest distal to middle, 4-7 cm long, 5-12 mm broad, smooth, cross-section rounded-triangular usually with a whitish bloom (glaucous) and often tinged with purple. Margins and keel smooth (never toothed).
Inflorescences: One-flowered at the end of the stems, pedicel 10-50 mm long.
Flowers: Daisy-type, 3-5 cm in diameter, bright pink or magenta. Calyx lobes 5, unequal, slightly triangular in cross section, 10-20 mm, outer angle smooth. Petals many (100-140), fringelike, rose-magenta in 2-3 whorls, 10-25 mm long. Stamens 100-250, white, in 3-4 whorls, 4-7 mm long, papillate proximally. Anthers yellow. Stigmas 2-3 mm, shorter than stamens, papillate adaxially. Placentation parietal. C. chilensis has facultative self-fertilization.
Blooming season: Flowering year-round, mostly early spring-summer. The flowers of Carpobrotus chilensis open in the morning and close at night.
Fruit: Berrylike, oval to subglobose with receptacle tapering to pedicel, 17-20 mm green to yellowish, 8-10 chambered. The fruits are edible, abundant, pleasant-tasting, juicy and does not open at maturity.
Remarks: Carpobrotus chilensis is similar to, and often mistaken for, its close relative "ice plant" (Carpobrotus edulis) which grows alongside and sometimes hybridizes with it. Its flowers are magenta and are smaller than those of ice plant that can be 10 cm wide and are mostly yellow.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Heidrun E. K. Hartmann “Aizoaceae A – E” Springer, 2002
2) Eliasson, U. H. “Aizoaceae.” in: Fl. Ecuador 55: 14–27. 1996
3) Flora of North America Editorial Committee, “Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae” part 1. 4: i–xxiv, 1–559. In Fl. N. Amer.. Oxford University Press, New York. 2003.
4) Hickman, J. C. 1993. Jepson Man.: "Higher Pl. Calif." i–xvii, 1–1400. University of California Press, Berkeley.
5) Jørgensen, P. M. & S. León-Yánez. (eds.) “Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador.” Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 75: i–viii, 1–1181. 1999.
6) Zuloaga, F. O., O. Morrone, M. J. Belgrano, C. Marticorena & E. Marchesi. (eds.) “Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay).” Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 107(1): i–xcvi, 1–983 107(2): i–xx, 985–2286 107(3): i–xxi, 2287–3348. 2008.
7) Joseph M. DiTomaso, Evelyn A. Healy “Weeds of California and Other Western States” Volume 1 UCANR Publications, 2007
8) Heyday “Flora of the Santa Ana River and Environs: With References to World Botany” 2007
9) Elizabeth L. Horn “Coastal Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest: Wildflowers and Flowering Shrubs from British Columbia to Northern California” Mountain Press Publishing, 1993
10) Wendy C. Hodgson “Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert” University of Arizona Press, 2001
11) Van Jaarsveld, E.J. and De Villiers Pienaar, U. “Vygies, gems of the veld. A garden and field guide to the South African mesembs.” Cactus & Co., Grafica Quadro, Tradate, Italy. 2000.
12) Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds). “Plants of southern Africa : an annotated checklist.” Strelitzia 14. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria. 2003
13) Leistner, O.A. (ed.) “Seed plants of southern Africa : families and genera.” Strelitzia 10. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria. 2000.
14) Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J. “Cape plants. A conspectus of the Cape flora of South Africa.” Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Missouri. 2000
15) California Invasive Plant Council http://ucce.ucdavis.edu
16) Smith, C.A. “Common names of South African plants.” Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa No. 35.1966.
17) Bicknell, S. H. and E. M. Mackey. “Mysterious nativity of California’s sea fig.” Fremontia 26: 3-11.1998.
18) Carpobrotus chilensis in: Flora of North America . Downloaded on 26 March 2014.
Cultivation and Propagation: The plants in this genus represent some of the more easily cultivated succulent species. Water moderately from early spring to the end of autumn, and keep the compost quite dry when the plants are dormant watering, only if the plant starts shrivelling (, but they will generally grow even in winter if given water) In areas prone to frost, grow in an intermediate greenhouse or conservatory, in pots of cactus compost, obtainable from good garden centres. Provide maximum light all the year round.
Propagation: Seeds or cuttings. Seeds can be sown in early to mid-spring and germinated in heated humid environment. Alternatively, use stem cuttings taken towards the end of summer.
A) It is an easy-to-grow carpet-forming succulent groundcover, ideal for low-maintenance and water-wise gardens.
B) It is a drought-resistant trailing plant for stonewalls.
C) Its leaves are edible, as are its fruit, as with other some members of the Aizoaceae family. The ripe fruit are gathered and either eaten fresh or made into a very tart jam. The fruits are tasty and can be eaten fresh.
Ask a Question forum→What's the difference between Delosperma and Carpobrotus chilensis?
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Both of those Carpobrotus species are borderline weeds in permissive climates, due to their ability to spread and endure drought, but they have been quite popular for landscaping along highways in places like Southern California for the same reasons. Around here they are invasive and pop up all over, displacing native plants from habitat.
Delosperma is a pretty big genus in terms of the diversity you might find among cultivated plants. There are lots of different flower colors and habits, thus a lot of options to choose from, well beyond the 100 or so actual species. There will be various differences in terms of hardiness and habit. Try to see if you can find something planted in the ground so you know what it will look like when it spreads out. If it's in a public place and you can grab a cutting, even better, since these plants are relatively easy to start that way.
Ice plants as a family are fairly diverse (maybe 2000 species) so they encompass a good deal of variety well beyond the plants you mentioned. This is the umbrella group under which Carpobrotus and Delosperma belong. They are often South African plants, and many of the mat-forming ice plants make pretty good ground covers. They go by various common names, many of which are not very specific and thus not so useful for identifying any particular plant.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming. "WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Eagle eyes will note a Carpobrotus upper left in the second picture, also a different ice plant upper right. There is also a different yellow-flowered one obscured on the bottom right in the first picture. These are survivors from the trials I did at one point with every mat-forming ice plant I could get my hands on, to see how they grew and how good they were at stabilizing the slope. The Delosperma was the general winner of that contest and the one I encouraged to spread.
There's also a lizard hole lower right in the second picture. The opening is now covered up by the Delosperma months later, making it quite secure. The dogs that roam out there have not yet figured out that somebody lives there. Lizards are my friends in the succulent garden, I think.
This was the Delosperma I was so in love with , in my garden in NC. I didn't find it invasive..it did spread , but in an acceptable way..this one kept the weeds down at the edge of the bed. It took hard frosts in NC and came back strong the following years. I have lived in Florida only 2 years , and it's a mystery to me why I can't find this wonderful plant. anywhere. I suspect it's a little more hardy than the Carpobrotus . but I can't seem to find that one either..a mystery.