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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Carpobrotus (sour figs)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Order: Caryophyllales > Family: Aizoaceae > Subfamily: Ruschioideae > Lampranthus group

Seven of the 13 species are native to southern Africa, occurring mainly along the coast. Beyond southern Africa, there is one native species in the USA, one in South America and four in Australia. Southern African species are cultivated in climatically suitable regions worldwide.

Species in southern Africa

List from Chesselet et al. (2003).

Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Carpobrotus deliciosus


Carpobrotus dimidiatus


Carpobrotus edulis (Sour fig)


Carpobrotus mellei


Carpobrotus muirii


Carpobrotus quadrifidus



  • Chesselet, P., Burgoyne, P.M., Klak, C., Kurzweil, H., Dold, A.P., Griffin, N.J. and Smith, G.F. 2003. Mesembryanthemaceae. In Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds), Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14: 633-738. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.