Prostrate, spreading, succulent perennial, herb, ca 0.1 m high, to 2 m long. Fl. pink/purple-blue, Feb or Aug or Oct to Nov. Sand to clay.
Alternative Names. Sea Fig, Chilean Pigface.
General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Primarily seed, also stem fragments. Dispersal. Birds, garden waste, inappropriate or inadvertant restoration planting.
Notes. Naturalised throughout Australia except for the Northern Territory. A vigorous prostrate plant, forming roots along its stems. Capable of out-competing native plant species. May inadvertently be planted in natural areas. Flowers are monoecious (have both male and female parts) and are bee-pollinated. Can grow in low nutrient and/or saline soil. Established plants are highly drought tolerant. Moderately fire-resistant. Very resistant to wind and salt spray. Frost tender. Flowers only open in the afternoon. Rain triggers release of seed from fleshy fruits. Can also establish from fresh or significantly dehydrated cuttings. Has large, edible fruits in summer that are consumed and spread by birds, possibly also by other animals.
Additional information. Origin. South America, Africa. History of use/introduction. Ornamental, edible fruit, erosion control particularly in coastal areas. Similar exotic species. Carpobrotus edulis. Similar native species. C. virescens.
Suggested method of management and control. Manual methods appear to be the most effective means of control. Roll up large mats removing all roots and stem fragments and remove from site. Follow up with removal of any germinating plants. Otherwise spray with glyphosate at 2% + surfactant. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.
Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.