Carpobrotus (Vygie)

Carpobrotus, commonly known as pigface, ice plant, sour fig, Hottentot fig, and clawberry is a genus of ground-creeping plants with succulent leaves and large daisy-like flowers. The name refers to the edible fruits. It comes from the Ancient Greek karpos “fruit” and brotos “edible”.

Carpobrotus edulis is a very hardy, evergreen, succulent, drought-resistant, spreading groundcover that has triangular-shaped, fleshy leaves.

In spring and summer, (August to October) it bears large, vygie-like, yellow flowers that fade to pink. The large, fleshy fruits that follow become yellowish and wrinkled when ripe. They are edible and make good jams and preserves.

A useful plant for retaining soil on embankments as it grows fast and roots at the nodes. It is often at its best for only 3 to 4 years, therefore interplanting with other robust plants that can take over from it over time is recommended.

Health Benefits

It has many medicinal uses. The juice of the leaves has excellent healing properties, and will relieve stings, burns and rashes.