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the web of life in southern Africa

Carpobrotus edulis (Sour fig)

Suurvy [Afrikaans]

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 > Genus: Carpobrotus

A creeping succulent species that is endemic to South Africa, growing in sandy soils of the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. The fresh fruits are eaten by cutting off the base and sucking out the sweet-sour pulp inside. They are also used in making jams and preserves (konfyt in Afrikaans). Fruits contain some vitamins, minerals and protein but not at high levels. They are collected mainly from wild-growing plants but cultivation does occur on a small scale.


  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World - Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.