Hottentot fig

Carpobrotus edulis


Photo credit: ©RPS group Plc
Carpobrotus edulis
  • Full sun sandy ground, on loose sand dunes or cliffs been able to tolerate increased salt concentrations.

  • It is a spreading flat growing succulent, forming dense mats. Roots from the nodes with horizontal stems that curve upwards. Numerous leaves arise from the stems which are triangular in shape. Grass green in colour with magenta or yellow solitary flowers having a yellow centre.
  • Download NIEA ID guide

Origin and Distribution:
  • Originally from South Africa but the species has been introduced to many parts of the world and Europe as an ornamental. The species is also of concern in Britain where it is behaving in an invasive manner and outcompeting native plant species.

  • Forms dense monospecific thickets leading to the loss of biodiversity threatening smaller and often rare species. Negative impacts on the natural processes of disturbance and change in dune environments while also reducing the pH of the soil and thus impacting on the nutrient cycling.

How did it get here?
  • Intentional introduction as garden ornamental.

Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland?
  • It is found in Ireland and Northern Ireland. More information can be found at NBDC and NBN Atlas NI.

You can help by reporting any sightings:

Static Distribution Map as of December 2019 - Courtesy of CEDaR

Prevent Spread


  • Promote native species and biodiversity - use alternative, native plants
  • Know what you are buying/growing and source native Irish seed and plants
  • Do not swap plants and cuttings
  • Follow control advice and watch out for hitchhikers - inspect new imported purchases for invasive pest and pathogens
  • Never collect plants from the wild
  • Safe disposal of plant material and growing media
  • Report all sightings.

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland