The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Natal Dune Vygie

Afrikaans name: Natalse suurvy

Natal Dune Vygie

Photo © Steven Herbert

Carpobrotus dimidiatus

The Natal Dune Vygie is a succulent plant that is found on sand dunes or amongst rocks. It has long trailing stems which can reach a length of 2.5 metres.

The flowers are about 5 cm in diameter and may be magenta, white, or pink. The flowers appear in late winter and early spring. Its leaves are long and thin and triangular when a cross-section is cut.

A variety of animals, including tortoises and rodents, feed on the fruit. Humans can eat the fruit as well but only a small quantity should be eaten as it can have a laxative effect! Some people make jam from the fruit. The plants form a thick matting which assists in binding the soil and preventing it from being blown away.

The Natal Dune Vygie is a useful plant for the garden. They are readily available at nurseries and are normally quite cheap. It should be used as a groundcover which looks stunning when the flowers appear. New plants can be propagated by cutting off a stem and allowing the cut to dry out. It can then be placed in the ground.

The Natal Dune Vygie is found along the coast from around East London to northern KwaZulu-Natal as well as Mozambique.

References and further reading

The Gardener - 2018/02 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 6

The Coastal Guide of South Africa - Author: Jacana Media - Published: 2007 - Page: 112

The Beach Book - Author: Jerry Gosnell - Published: 2011 - Page: 88

Succulents of South Africa - Author: E. Van Jaarsveld, B. Van Wyk and G. Smith - Published: 2000 - Page: 119

Succulent Flora of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Doreen Court - Published: 2010 - Page: 38

Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa - Author: John Manning - Published: 2009 - Page: 308

Field guide to Succulents of Southern Africa - Author: Gideon Smith & Neil Crouch - Published: 2017 - Page: 42

A Field Guide to Wild Flowers in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 2005 - Page: 378


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