Herb: Hottentot Fig


Latin name: Carpobrotus acinaciformis


Synonyms: Mesembryanthemum acinaciforme


Family: Aizoaceae (Fig-marigold Family)



Edible parts of Hottentot Fig:

Fruit - raw. There is very little flesh in the fruit and it must be fully ripe otherwise it is very astringent. Insipid. Leaves - raw or cooked. Very mucilaginous, we find it very hard to enjoy them.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Perennial

Height:
10 cm
(4 inches)

Flovering:
May to
July

Habitat of the herb:

Sandy and rocky places near the sea. Naturalized on cliffs and banks by the sea in Cornwall and S. Devon.

Other uses of Hottentot Fig:

Planted in maritime areas to prevent soil erosion in sandy soils and on steep banks. Plants form a dense carpet and make an effective ground cover. The plant is moderately fire-resistant and can be used in barrier plantings to prevent the spread of forest fires.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - surface sow March to June in a greenhouse. Lower night-time temperatures are beneficial. The seed usually germinates in 7 - 10 days at 23C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings at any time during the growing season. Allow the cutting to dry in the sun for a day or two then pot up in a very sandy mix. Very easy.

Cultivation of Hottentot Fig:

Sandy and rocky places near the sea. Naturalized on cliffs and banks by the sea in Cornwall and S. Devon.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Carpobrotus acinaciformis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.