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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Aizoaceae

8. Carpobrotus N. E. Brown, Gard. Chron., ser. 3. 78: 433. 1925.

Fig-marigold [Greek karpos, fruit, and brota, edible things]

Nancy J. Vivrette

Subshrubs, succulent, glabrous. Roots fibrous. Stems trailing, mat-forming, 5-30 dm; rooting at nodes; inflorescence branches ascending. Leaves cauline, opposite, slightly connate basally, sessile, those of each pair equal; stipules absent; blade straight or curved, rounded-triangular to sharply 3-angled in cross section, thick, fleshy, margins entire or dentate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, flowers solitary; bracts absent or 2, leaflike; pedicel [absent or 1-]10-60[-100] mm, erect. Flowers showy, tubular, 3-10[-15] cm diam.; calyx lobes 4-5, unequal, 2 larger ± opposite, sometimes leaflike, 2-3 inner, smaller, with expanded membranous margins; petals (including petaloid staminodia) to 250, distinct, magenta, pink, yellow, cream, or white; nectary absent; stamens to 600, erect; pistil 8-12[-25]-carpellate; ovary inferior, 8-12[-25]-loculed; placentation parietal; style absent; stigmas 8-12[-25], radiate, linear, plumose. Fruits berries, fleshy, edible, indehiscent; valves absent. Seeds to 1000, brown, obovoid, compressed, shiny, slightly tuberculate; arils absent.

Species 13 (2 in the flora): introduced; s Africa; also introduced in Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia.

Species of Carpobrotus naturalize vegetatively and from seed.


Blake, S. T. 1969. A revision of Carpobrotus and Sarcozona in Australia, genera allied to Mesembryanthemum (Aizoaceae). Contr. Queensland Herb. 7: 1-65. Brown, N. E. 1928. Mesembryanthemum and allied genera. J. Bot. 66: 322-327. Wisura, W. and H. F. Glen. 1993. The South African species of Carpobrotus (Mesembryanthema-Aizoaceae). Contr. Bolus Herb. 15: 76-107.

1 Flowers 3-5 cm diam.; petals rose-magenta; leaves 4-7 cm, rounded-triangular in cross section, outer angle smooth   1 Carpobrotus chilensis
+ Flowers 8-10 cm diam.; petals yellow, aging pink; leaves 6-10 cm, sharply triangular in cross section, outer angle serrate near tip   2 Carpobrotus edulis

Lower Taxa


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