Plant of the Month — November 2015
Carpobrotus virescens (Haw.) Schwantes
Carpobrotus virescens (Coastal Pigface) is a prostrate, spreading shrub 0.1–0.3 m high and 0.5–3 m wide with succulent, triangular-shaped leaves which are slightly concave on the upper surface. Over the coming summer months, the bright purple-pink flowers will provide a pop of colour along the beaches. This image shows a male flower which has a yellow centre displaying the stamens; the female flowers are much smaller and white towards the centre.
Carpobrotus virescens is a robust plant which thrives in exposed, coastal environments and is often used as a dune stabiliser in coastal rehabilitation sites. The fleshy, dark pink-red fruits were often eaten by Aboriginal people and were apparently used by the early settlers in making jam.
Photo: R. Davis
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