Carpobrotus acinaciformis

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Carpobrotus acinaciformis
Carpobrotus acinaciformis pm.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Carpobrotus
Species: C. acinaciformis
Binomial name
Carpobrotus acinaciformis
(L.) L. Bolus

Carpobrotus acinaciformis (commonly known as Elands Sourfig, Elandssuurvy or Sally-my-handsome) is a succulent perennial of the family Aizoaceae, native to South Africa.

Description[edit]

This species of Carpobrotus ("Sour fig") bears bright pink-purple flowers and, like its relatives, forms a sprawling succulent groundcover. It can be distinguished from its related species by its short, stout, gray-green leaves. These are acinaciform: mildly curved and shaped like a sabre, and having the shape of an isosceles triangle in cross-section, if cut perpendicularly.

Distribution[edit]

Its natural habitat is the coastal dunes of the Western Cape, South Africa. Here it can be found as far north as Saldanha, across the Cape Peninsula, and as far eastwards as Mossel Bay.

Cultivation[edit]

The pink or purple flowers are very showy and the plant is frequently cultivated, especially in mild coastal climates. Its fruits are edible and are used in southern Africa to make a traditional jam. In the wild they are grazed by tortoises and other southern African herbivores. In some areas, such as the south-west of England, it has become naturalised on sea cliffs and can outcompete native species. [1]

The name "Sally-my-handsome" is derived from its former generic name of Mesembryanthemum.

References[edit]