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.
Introduced; s Africa, also introduced in Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia.
Species 13 (2 in the flora).
Species of Carpobrotus naturalize vegetatively and from seed.