Hottentots Fig


Hottentots Fig, Ice Plant or Sour Fig (Carpobrotus edulis)


Ice plant flowers are about 70 mm in diameter and purple in colour, standing in an outward display and appearing almost daisy-like. The plant grows long shoots carrying pairs of triangular succulent leaves.


The ice plant carries succulent fruits that are edible. The fruits can be used to make jams or sauces or can be dried.


This plant is a coastal creeper. It can be found growing on dunes and outcrops. There are many Carpobrotus species. Some can be found all over the world, growing on dunes to stabilise its shifting sands. A variety of insects pollinate their flowers.

Field Notes

The sour fig gets its name from carrying its edible fruit. This plant serves as a food to many animals and insects. Tortoises eat its succulent leaves, and antelope and baboons feed on its flowers and fruit.
Rodents, like porcupines, only eat its fruit. The sour fig flowers are pollinated by a variety of beetle species and bees. Their seeds are disseminated through the excrement of the animals that feed on it.