Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Image: Peter A. Mansfeld


A very useful ground-hugging succulent with sabre-like leaves and a bright purple flower that is a great ground cover and supports many insect species.

It is cultivated as a succulent lawn-like ground cover and for its edible fruit that can be made into a jam.

Different Carpobrotus species may have been used interchangeably for medicinal purposes in the past. Fresh leaf juice and prepared fruit are used as a mouthwash, gargle, lotion and antiseptic wash. A preparation of the leaves was eaten to treat pulmonary infections. Leaf juice is applied to sores or burns and to stop bleeding. A juice from the leaves was used to treat dysentery. Preparations of both leaf and fruit are used for heat conditions.

Propagation instructions - cuttings

Cuttings are easiest and can take without pre-rooting most of the year. Cut a 15cm section and remove the bottom pairs of leaves and insert into the ground.

Sources and references

Scientific name

Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Common name(s)

Elands sour fig


Vegetation types