Angular pigface

Angular pigface

Angular pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens) is often overlooked as a garden plant due to its common name. Supposedly the flower resembles the face of a pig but it takes a great stretch of the imagination to come to that conclusion. When in flower during Spring, however, these plants provide an abundance of bright, cheerful pink flowers that attract bees and other insect pollinators.

This, prostrate, succulent plant is predominantly associated with the sand dunes where their extensive root system stabilises the sand. The plant works just as well inland, stabilising slopes, grown around pools, cascading over the edges of hanging baskets and filling in gaps in a rock garden. As a fire-retarding plant, it is useful in providing colour around buildings in bush-fire prone areas. Since they have no spines or prickles, pigfaces are ideal in a child-friendly garden. They have the added bonus that the leaves and fruit are edible and add a delicious salty taste to a garden salad. The bright red fruit can be made into jam and chutney. The juice from the leaves, like that of aloe vera, can be used to relieve skin burns and insect bites.

Angular pigface grows in partial to full sun in well drained soils. It is relatively pest free and can tolerate extended dry periods, humidity, salt and frosts but should not be grow in areas prone to waterlogging.

Carpobrotus glaucescens Flower. Photograph by PPNN Volunteer.