Carpobrotus

N. E. Brown

Gard. Chron., ser. 3, 78: 433. 1925

Common names: Fig-marigold
Etymology: Greek karpos, fruit, and brota, edible things
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 86. Mentioned on page 77, 87.
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.

Distribution

s Africa, also introduced in Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia.

Discussion

Species 13 (2 in the flora).

Species of Carpobrotus naturalize vegetatively and from seed.

Lower Taxa

Key

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