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Carpobrotus chilensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AizoaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1--many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1--20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0--20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1--many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. Note: Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California.
Unabridged Note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, +- smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, +- black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CarpobrotusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub. Stem: trailing, forming mats, < 20 dm, nodes rooting; flower-branches ascending. Leaf: opposite, +- linear-elliptic, fleshy, glabrous, +- triangular in ×-section. Inflorescence: 1-flowered, terminal; bracts 2. Flower: 3--15 cm diam; sepals 5, unequal, margins of smaller 2--3 expanded, papery; petals free, magenta, pink, yellow, or white; stamens many, erect, white or yellow; ovary inferior, chambers 6--14[20], styles 0, stigmas 6--14[20], sessile, linear, hairy. Fruit: berry-like, fleshy, indehiscent. Seed: many, glossy brown, in fleshy pulp.
Species In Genus: 14 species: southern Africa, Chile, Australia. Etymology: (Greek: fruit edible)
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette

Carpobrotus chilensis (Molina) N.E. Br.
Stem: < 2 m. Leaf: widest above middle, glaucous. Flower: sessile; sepals 1--2 cm; petals 1--2.5 cm. Fruit: soft when ripe.
Ecology: Common on coastal sandy shores; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo, SCo, n ChI; Distribution Outside California: to Oregon, Mexico; probably native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: +- all year
Synonyms: Mesembryanthemum chilensis Molina
Unabridged Note: Carpobrotus mellei L. Bolus, 4 other South African species, as well as hybrids between them, occur in Chile and generally have been misidentified as Carpobrotus chilensis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette
Jepson Online Interchange
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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botanical illustration including Carpobrotus chilensis


Citation for this treatment: Nancy J. Vivrette 2016. Carpobrotus chilensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 05, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 05, 2016.

Carpobrotus chilensis
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Carpobrotus chilensis
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Carpobrotus chilensis
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© 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Carpobrotus chilensis
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Carpobrotus chilensis
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© 2011 California Academy of Sciences
Carpobrotus chilensis
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© 2006 Steve Matson

More photos of Carpobrotus chilensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Carpobrotus chilensis:
NCo, CCo, SCo, n ChI;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.