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Sea Fig Carpobrotus chilensis


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Sea Fig
credit: Unknown National Park Service employee's picture taken during person's official duties.

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Alternate name: Baby Sun-rose, Ice Plant

Family: Aizoaceae, Ice Plant view all from this family

Description Mat-forming succulent with extensive, rooting stems and rose-magenta flowers, little to no stalk seated among tall, narrow leaves.
Flowers: Sessile with sepals 1/3-3/4"(1-2 cm), numerous, narrow petals 1/3-1"(1-2.5 cm). Rose-magenta coloration and small than those of Hottentot Fig (Ice Plant) 1.5-2.5" (4-6.5 cm) diameter.
Leaves: 1.5-2.5"(4-7 cm) long, widest above middle, fleshy, straight, pointed leaves, primarily opposite, triangular in cross-section with smooth outer angle.
Fruit: Green, plump and flat-topped, edible.
Height: Creeper with flowering branches about 5" (12.5 cm) and trailing, rooting stems about 6' (1.8 m) long.

Flower April-September.

Habitat Coastal areas including dunes, bluffs and beach environs.

Range Oregon, California, south to Mexico.

Discussion Smaller, less aggressive relative of Hottentot Fig (C. edulis) that will hybridize with this close relative in sandy, gravelly aerated areas on coastal dunes and along coastal roads. Both are commonly referred to as Ice Plant and were previously classified in the genus Mesembryanthemum. It is thought to be native to South Africa.