An unintentional coda to the series on African plants, today’s photographs supplement some of the comments made on the Delosperma cooperi entry regarding the iceplant that is well-known in California. In an illustration of why common names are not perfect, Carpobrotus edulis is also known commonly as iceplant, and it is this species (along with its close relative Carpobrotus chilensis and the hybrid between the two) that Californians will likely know under that moniker.
These photographs were taken along the Point Reyes National Seashore in mid-March of 2006, so it was too early in the year to observe a mass of blossoms. Of the plants in bloom, though, about half were the pink-magenta colouration shown in today’s photo, while the other half were the light-yellow colouration also representative of the species. Both colour variations can be seen in the CalPhotos database. Note, also, the strong resemblance of Carpobrotus chilensis to the pink-magenta flowered Carpobrotus edulis type – my identification of the plants in today’s photographs may be off (but I think I’ve sussed out the ID via the Jepson manual: Carpobrotus edulis and Carpobrotus chilensis).
Wikipedia provides a good summary of the use in roadside stabilization (and subsequent invasiveness) of this South African native in California: see Carpobrotus edulis. Little mention is made of the species outside of California, but perhaps that’s because it seems the Wikipedia article draws heavily on this detailed factsheet on invasive plants in California. Plantzafrica, once again, provides an account of this species in Africa, where it is known as sour fig.