seeds of Carpobrotus edulis, Hottentot-fig
Carpobrotus edulis Samen
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Carpobrotus edulis, also known as the Hottentot-fig, is a creeping plant species of the family Aizoaceae. Synonyms include Mesembryanthemum edule and Abryanthemum edule. Common plant names include ice plant, sour fig, pig face, and the highway ice plant. Carpobrotus edulis is native to South Africa, and one can find it growing on both inland and coastal slopes in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape. The plant also grows in the Caribbean, New Zealand, and the USA. In addition to being a ground creeper, Carpobrotus edulis is also a mat-forming plant. The plant’s leaves have toothy margins and a small curve. Flowers, on the other hand, are pink or yellow and have a diameter of 6.4 to 15.2 cm. Bees and beetles are mostly responsible for the pollination of the flowers. The plant’s fruits are edible and one can either eat them raw or dry them to pickle them or use them to make chutney at a later date. Unripe fruits have an astringent taste. The leaves are edible when raw and are an excellent addition to salads. Alternatively, one can cook the leaves as a vegetable. The leaves also serve as an excellent replacement for pickled cucumbers. Carpobrotus edulis is a reliable source of herbal medicine due to its styptic, diuretic and antiseptic qualities. The conditions that the plant’s remedies can treat include diarrhoea, dysentery, sore throats, and mouth infections. Carpobrotus edulis is also the main ingredient in the manufacture of a lotion that treats eczema, burns, grazes, wounds and sunburn. Non-Medical use of the plant involves allowing it to spread over the ground and bind the soil to prevent soil erosion. The plant’s protective qualities also extend to limiting the destruction resulting from forest fires. Carpobrotus edulis is fire-resistant to a moderate degree and is a formidable addition to barrier plantings. The plant is also a rich source of tannins with yields per hectare standing at 1700 kg.
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