Coastal Pigface

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(Carpobrotus Virescens)

The pigface

The pigface is a succulent coastal plant. It is sometimes used as a ground covering. The pigface flowers can be bright pink, orange or yellow. The leaves are dark or light green. They are very juicy and whenever you get a bull ant sting, bee sting or a burn you can rub the juicy leaves on the effected area and it will relieve the pain. These leaves are about 65mm long. The pinkish-mauve flowers like the one displayed on the right can range in size between 40mm to 60mm in diameter. The plants flowers from August to October having yellowish or white centres. The picture of the pigface below has not quite opened. The coastal pigface is also called 'bain'.

pig face flower

pigface flower

The pigface grows in the south west of Western Australia near beaches or sand dunes. When the petals drop off, the fruiting base of the flower swells up and turns purplish-red. When it is fully matured, these succulent fruits are very sweet and can be eaten raw, fresh or dried. The Aborigines used to dry them. Did you know that the early European settlers used the pigface fruits to make jam? There are many kinds of pigface plants with one specie of pigface growing in South Africa, containing an alkaloid drug which is used as a weak anaesthetic.


Scientific name for pigface

Carpobrotus virescens



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