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Carpobrotus edulis

   (Family: Mesembryanthemaceae)
Afrikaans: Suurvy, perdevy, vyerank, Kaapsevy, ghaukum, ghoenavy, rankvy English: Sour fig, Cape fig, Hottentots fig  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Groundcover
Height: 0.1m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
Flowering time EDIT
              x x x    
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower shape
Flower type
  Solitary bees, honey bees, carpenter bees and many beetle species.
  Flower info
  The yellow flowers are large and fleshy. Flowers are solitary, 100-150 mm in diameter, yellow, fading to pale pink, produced mainly during late winter-spring (August-October).
Leaf shape EDIT
  Leaf info EDIT
  The smooth fleshy / succulent leaves are erect, triangular in cross-section and often reddish-green in colour. Crowded along the stem, 60-130 x 10-12 mm
The ripe fruits are often sold on street markets in the Cape and are popular for jams and curry dishes.
Seed colour
  Seed info EDIT
  Fragrant fleshy indehiscent fruit with a jelly-like, somewhat slimy, sour-sweet fruit pulp which contains a multitude of small, brown seeds. Shaped like a spinning top, on a winged stalk.
Description EDIT
This fleshy succulent is a perennial, mat-like creeper.
Growing EDIT
Distribution EDIT
Originally occurred in sandy areas in the WEstern Cape Province and along the Cape south coast to the Eastern Cape, but it is now commonly grown in many parts of the world, often as a ground cover to stabilise sandy banks.
History EDIT
The ripe fruits are often sold on street markets in the Cape and are popular for jams and curry dishes.

The leaf juice is traditionally gargled to treat infections of the mouth and throat.

It is also taken orally for dysentry, digestive troubles, tuberculosis and as a diuretic and styptic.

The leaf pulp is highly astringent and is applied externally to treat eczema, wounds and burns.

It is also said to be effective against toothache, earache and oral and vaginal thrush.
Ecology EDIT
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  • Ben-Erik van Wyk, (2005), Medicinal Plants of South Africa ,Briza Publications  


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