Carpobrotus edulis - Hottentot Fig

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Caryophyllales - Family: Aizoaceae

Carpobrutus edulis, yellow form

This alien species, originally from southern Africa, is naturalised in many parts of Europe and the Mediterranean. It is a succulent plant and so well adapted to the hot and dry conditions found in the Mediterranean region, where it forms dense and showy mats of leaves and flowers. It is frequently cultivated. In the UK it is most common in the west and can be found close to the coast in West Wales, Devon and Cornwall in particular.

pink hottentot fig

A mauve or pink-flowered form of the plant is often interspersed with the yellow ones; they are members of the Aizoon family (Aizoaceae).

Yellow-flowered Hottentot Fig


The specific name edulis refers to the edible nature of the reddish seeds of the plant, which can be eaten raw or dried but are more commonly used to make jam or syrup.

Red-flowered Hottentot Fig, Portugal

The specimens shown on this page were photographed in the Algarve region of Portugal during April.

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