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