Carpobrotus chilensis

Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Mesembryanthemum chilensis, Carpobrotus mellei, Carpobrotus aequilaterus

Common names: sea fig; iceplant

Carpobrotus chilensis (sea-fig, iceplant) is a succulent shrub (family Aizoaceae) found throughout coastal California and the Channel Islands, especially in areas with a warm winter climate. Carpobrotus chilensis may have been introduced during early Spanish settlement. It now inhabits coastal scrub, grasslands, chaparral, bluffs, dunes and beaches, where it creates dense mats that increase soil organic matter over time, allowing new non-native species to invade. Sea-fig propagates by seed and vegetatively. Even small stem fragments can regenerate into a new plant, making control difficult.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed RIC Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

  • Use of non-native plants by island foxes: conservation implications. Cypher, Brian; Madrid, Alexandra; Job, Christine Van Horn; Kelly, Erica; Harrison, Stephen; Westall, Tory (2010)
  • Invasive Plant Inventory (–weed list”) working group. DiTomaso, Joe; Stanton, Alison; Brusati, Elizabeth (2005)

Other Carpobrotus chilensis Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.