Sea fig

Carpobrotus edulis



Carpobrotus edulis, commonly known as sea fig, is a non-native plant in California. Carpobrotus edulis is a plant native to South Africa, and has spread  along most of the western coast of North America. Originally this plant was used to help keep the soil along railroad tracks intact, and was also used as a barrier for coast sand dunes. Carpobrotus edulis escaped cultivation and invaded local ecosystems. Outcompeting native plant life in coastal plant communities (1). The leaves are triangulated, thick, and turn from yellow to green as they grow. Eventually, they develop a rosy tint at their  tip once it gets older (2). Flowers begin yellow then turn pink, usually in early spring.

Native: Not Native to California 

Flowering Period: February - October 

Nature Serve Global Ranking: GNR

Nature Serve State Ranking: SNA


(1) Conser, C., Connor, E.F. Assessing the residual effects of Carpobrotus edulis invasion, implications for restoration. Biol Invasions 11, 349–358 (2009).

(2) Global Invasive Species Database (2020) Species profile: Carpobrotus edulis. on 11-10-2020.