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Carpobrotus

Ice Plant
Aizoaceae
Cacti and succulents, Ground covers, Perennials

Trailing plants with coarse, succulent leaves and summer blooms; useful for covering sunny banks (but not steep banks, since their weight could cause the soil to slide). Plant about 1 1/2 ft. apart. Can rot in very wet conditions; can suffer dieback if severely stressed by lack of water or nitrogen during growth season. Scale insects can cause problems.

Carpobrotus chilensis (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Carpobrotus chilensis (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

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Carpobrotus chilensis

This groundcover is probably from South Africa; naturalized along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Baja California. Straight, three-sided, fleshy leaves are 2 in. long; flowers are lightly fragrant, rosy purple, about 2 in. across.

Carpobrotus edulis

From South Africa. This groundcover has curved, 4–5-in.-long leaves; pale yellow to rose, 4-in. wide flowers. Fig-like fruit is edible but not particularly tasty.

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