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Genus Carpobrotus Family Aizoaceae

Description: Prostrate and spreading perennials with long trailing stems rooting at the nodes.

Leaves succulent, opposite, sessile, triangular in cross section, glabrous, with pellucid glands.

Flowers solitary, terminal on lateral branches, usually large, purple or light purple, rarely yellow. Perianth tube fused to ovary, 4- or 5-lobed; 2 lobes larger, almost opposite, resembling leaves. Petaloid staminodes free, numerous, in up to 5 rows. Stamens numerous, in up to 9 rows, filaments mostly densely bearded at the base. Ovary inferior, 6–15-locular; styles 6–15, free.

Fruit succulent, dehiscent; seeds numerous, embedded in mucilage.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20–25 species, mostly southern Africa, 1 species South America. Australia: 6 species (4 species native), all States except N.T.

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & J. Highet
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Petaloid staminodes yellow before fading; keel of leaf and larger sepals finely toothed; fruit commonly broader than longCarpobrotus edulis
Petaloid staminodes light purple to white; keel of leaf and longer sepals smooth; fruit longer than wide2
2Petaloid staminodes paler but not white towards the base; usually not coastalCarpobrotus aequilaterus
Petaloid staminodes white at or near the base; plant of coastal sand dunes
                       Back to 1
Carpobrotus glaucescens

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