T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Carpobrotus spp. (Ice Plant )

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Aizoaceae
Genus: Carpobrotus
Species: about 25
Common names: Ice plant, Pigface,

Carpobrotus is a genus of ground-creeping plants, with succulent leaves and large daisy-like flowers. The name refers to the edible fruits. It comes from the Greek "karpos" (fruit) and "brota" (edible).
There are about 25 species in this genus, having a disperse distribution worldwide. They are mostly South African, but there is also one species in South America and four in Australia. 
Various Carpobrotus sp. are invasive fast growth, with ground hugging characteristics in suitable climates throughout the world. It is found growing on banks, road cuttings, cliffs and sand dunes.

This plant has medicinal properties. Carpobrotus juice (from leaves) can be used as a mild astringent. When mixed with water the juice can be used to treat diarrhea, dysentery and stomach cramps. It can also be used as a gargle for sore throat and laryngitis, and mild bacterial infections of the mouth. The leaf juice can also be used externally, much like Aloe Vera for burns, abrasions, open cuts, grazes, mosquito bites and sunburn. It is also used to treat ringworm, eczema, dermatitis, herpes, thrush, cold sores, cracked lips, chafing, skin conditions and allergies.

A species of Ice plant.  Flower about 35mm wide.


Same Ice plant at night with flowers closed


The fleshy leaves of an ice plant