Carpobrotus acinaciformis - (L.)L.Bolus.
Common Name Hottentot Fig
Family Aizoaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Sandy and rocky places near the sea[260]. Naturalized on cliffs and banks by the sea in Cornwall and S. Devon[1].
Range S. Africa - Cape Province. Naturalized in Britain[1].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Carpobrotus acinaciformis Hottentot Fig
Carpobrotus acinaciformis Hottentot Fig
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Carpobrotus acinaciformis is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Mesembryanthemum acinaciforme.

 Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[1, 61, 89]. There is very little flesh in the fruit and it must be fully ripe otherwise it is very astringent[K]. Insipid[46, 105, 177]. Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 173]. Very mucilaginous, we find it very hard to enjoy them[K].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Fire retardant;  Soil stabilization.

Planted in maritime areas to prevent soil erosion in sandy soils and on steep banks[200]. Plants form a dense carpet and make an effective ground cover[208]. The plant is moderately fire-resistant and can be used in barrier plantings to prevent the spread of forest fires[200].
Cultivation details
Requires a well-drained sandy soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Plants can be grown on dry walls or in the flower border[166]. Established plants are very drought resistant[200]. Very resistant to wind and salt spray[166]. Moderately fire-retardant[200]. Plants are not very frost resistant and can be killed by temperatures below about -2°c. They have naturalized themselves on cliffs along the coast of S. Britain but do not succeed inland unless grown in a sunny sheltered position[200]. A vigorous prostrate plant, rooting as it spreads. The flowers only open in the afternoon[200].
Seed - surface sow March to June in a greenhouse. Lower night-time temperatures are beneficial. The seed usually germinates in 7 - 10 days at 23°c[138]. 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[K].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
Glenn du Preez   Tue May 2 2006
Please revise your medicinal properties of this genus - it is well known in South Africa (most species in the genus occur here) for its medicinal properties Preparations of the fruit are taken orally for the treatment of tuberculosis and other pulmonary infections. Leaf juice is applied to sores or burn/scald wounds and used as a styptic. Preparations of leaf juice, taken orally, are said to be diuretic and to relieve dysentery. Preparations of both leaf and fruit are taken internally to treat heart conditions and used as a mouthwash or gargle for sore throat and sores in the mouth. There is some evidence that C. acinaciforme is used interchangeably with other Carpobrotus species.

CARPOBROTUS ACINACIFORMIS FOLIA Carpobrotus Acinaciformis Folia consists of the fresh or dried leaves of Carpobrotus acinaciformis L. (L. Bol.) (Aizoaceae).

Glenn du Preez   Tue May 2 2006
Please revise your medicinal properties of this genus - it is well known in South Africa (most species in the genus occur here) for its medicinal properties For centuries, indigenous people in South Africa have used a variety of medicinal herbs to treat chronic infections. This investigation focused on two Carpobrotus species belonging to the family, Aizoaceae, in an attempt to assess their antimicrobial potential. Extracts of varying polarities of the plants were prepared and tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Mycobacterium smegmatis.

An assessment of two Carpobrotus species extracts as potential antimicrobial agents. An assessment of two Carpobrotus species extracts as potential antimicrobial agents.

John Wolff   Sat Aug 5 2006
Hi. I live in Denmark and I try to overvinter the hottentotfig. but it is verry dificult do you have a vay to do it ? Best regards John Wolff. [email protected] A am sorry but my English is not good I hope You anderstand Me.
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Subject : Carpobrotus acinaciformis  

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