Plants of
South Australia
Carpobrotus rossii
Angular Pig-face (Karkalla)
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.


Carpobrotus from the Greek 'karpos' meaning fruit and 'brotos' meaning edible, referring to the succulent fruit which was eaten traditionally by Aboringinal people. Rossii named after William J. Clunies-Ross (1850-1914), a college lecturer, scientist and botanical collector who first collected the plant.

Distribution and status

Found across the southern part of South Australia from the west coast to the lower South-east growing mainly on coastal dunes. Also found in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate, succulent perennial plant with stems to 1 m long or more and 11 mm diameter. Leaves to 10 cm long and 11 mm thick, usually distinctly incurved, green to glaucous, usually thicker than wide near the middle with faces usually slightly convex. Flowers large, daisy-liked, light purple merging to white at and near base. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are fleshy, plump red globular fruit to 25 mm long, slightly compressed. Seeds are semi-flat reniform brown seed to 1.5 mm long and 0.8 mm wide. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature fruits, those that are fat and turning red with brown seeds inside. Break open the fruits and wash the content in water. Drain the liquid leaving behind the seeds. Place the wet seeds onto paper towels and leave to dry. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Seed viability is usually high. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily without any treatment.