by Ramiro, Skye, Jorden, and Stephanie

    Hottentot Fig

    The Hottentot Fig was named after an African tribe. The tribe used this plant for food and medicine. Some people like to use it in their salad. The Hottentot Fig's nickname is Sea Fig. It is also known as ice plant. Hottentot Fig is not a native of California, Carpobrotuschilense is a native of South America and Carpobrotus edulisis a native of South Africa. In California, ice plant is used along freeways as ground cover and in erosion control. It has been found, however, that the heavy weight of their growth often causes slopes to slide after rains when the soil is saturated with water. It grows like a vine on the ground. The leaves are long and full of water. If you cut one in half you will see a triangle. They look like green french fries when the plant is alive. When it is dead it looks like old sticks, twigs and dried up roots.

    There are lots of different colors of flowers like yellow, pink, red and white. It looks like a sea anemone. It's not that the smell is so bad, it's just that there is too much of it. Ice plant grows in the coastal sage and salt marsh communities. It overlaps the native plants and kills them. The animals that lived there before the Hottentot Fig, lose their homes and their grocery stores.