Carpobrotus rossii (Pig Face) In Flower

Carpobrotus rossii (Pig Face)

Carpobrotus rossii (Pig Face)

This is the flower of the succulent plant in the previous post. There were only a few isolated flowers on the plants near the nest. This is a useful plant. Not only is it useful and decorative in the garden, it is one of the bush tucker plants used by the local Aboriginal group. The leaves and fruits were used as a kind of relish to be eaten with meat. The juice from the leaves is also said to be an insect repellant. As with any new thing, a cautious test should be done before slathering one’s skin with the juice of an unknown plant.

I guess the same could be said for the plants in the Aloe family. Aloe Vera is good on a number of skin ailments but I am never sure which member of the species is the one to use.


27 Responses to “Carpobrotus rossii (Pig Face) In Flower”

  1. Camera user says:

    This image looks upside down to me…

  2. carmz says:

    I have noticed that my poultry love eating my orange flowered pigface plant, are you able to tell me if this is harmful for them or medicinal? I think by now it must not be poisionous for them, since this has been going on for a few months & there health is fine. recards Carmz

    • Corinne says:

      Sleepy lizards eat the flowers on the native pig faces, all in the same family of plants, and I am sure they do no harm. The leaves and fruits of the native pigfaces used to be made into a relish by Aboriginal people.

  3. Lawrence says:

    I replanted some cuttings of a pigface and although the plant has thrived it does not flower.
    What is wrong?

    • Corinne says:

      Pigface are in general winter to spring flowering. If your plant is growing too vigorously, it will not flower well. Do not use too much fertiliser and make sure you have very good drainage. Also do not water constantly.

  4. Venerable Yangchen says:

    My pigface plant is now spotted in white goo and is just about dead. I live in the Sutherland Shire NSW and the plant was doing well and this has happened within the last three months. What have I done wrong and how can I avoid this in the future?

    Many blessings, Venerable Yangchen

  5. Christine says:

    I live in Wamboin just outside Canberra near Bungendore. How does frost affect pigface? What advice can you give for its protection in the cold months if that is needed?

    • Corinne says:

      We have frost here, but not as severe as Canberra. If protection is needed, try a light covering with straw, or when frost is predicted, something like an old curtain or sheet.

  6. M Garland says:

    I don’t water my pig face at all, it is growing vigorously & it has never flowered in over 12 months. How can i get it to flower?

  7. Jamie says:

    Will pig face be toxic to dolphins?

  8. MsDaisy says:

    I was given a small cutting of the shimmering pink pigface plant. I simply stuck it in soil and left it. It gets water once a month (no joking) and it is huge and full of blooms. I took a cutting from that one and did the same. I am now the proud owner (haha) of two gorgeous pig face plants.

    • Corinne says:

      These are very easy plants to propagate as you have found! Congratulations. In fact they can be propagated from quite small pieces. As you say, they are very drought tolerant. Some moisture will keep them spreading as I have discovered with mine this year as a result of last summers rains and better than average autumn rains. The plants in our scrub look wonderful this year.

  9. Bill says:

    Are you meant to remove the pig face flower once it has died??? And can u prune it back hard once it stops flowering

    • Corinne says:

      Removing the spent flowers keeps the plant tidy. However if you want to collect seed you need to let some of the larger fruit continue to ripen. Pruning all natives after flowering is a good idea. Don’t go back to bare wood. Always keep leaves on the stems. Some species will sprout from bare wood, others don’t like it.

  10. Bridget says:

    My pig face had been growing beautifully with flowers and spreading well in our sunny rock garden for the past 12months but suddenly has started to go yellow and dry out over the past 4 weeks. I live in the ACT and not sure if it’s because of the cold snap we’re starting to have. Please help :)

    • Corinne says:

      Hi Bridget,
      Pigfaces do eventually get dry patches near the centre of the plant, and this is when you might need to take some cuttings and replant (just cut off a ‘set’ of leaves and poke the stem into a place in the garden, or into pot of mix). Otherwise check that you don’t have mealy bug (white fluffy insect that can be squashed). If too many you might need to spray with confidor or other–check at a nursery.) Also make sure the ground is not soggy, or has become non wetting. We used to say if it grows in Canberra it will grow here. We haven’t had any frost yet, but these are quite frost hardy.

      best wishes

  11. Fiona says:

    I have pigface on my south facing balcony. It flowered very well throughout the summer but in three of the 4 pots it’s died back. Only one pot retained it’s leaves. I pruned them all back and found the ones I thought had died have living stems at the heart of the plant. I left these. Is there hope for them, please?

    Thank you,


    • Corinne says:

      Living stems are good! If your balcony gets rain on the plants, move the pots to where this will be minimal as pigface do not like to be soaked all the time. I’m sure they will grow on again for you. Even though you will be coming into summer, too much rain will be the problem, unlike here where rain diminishes markedly in the summer. I have to watch my pots as we have had 36mm in a week and the pots are very wet. Thankfully the potting mix is well drained.

  12. Rhonda says:

    My pigface have finished flowering is it now time to cut the dead tips off the plant?

  13. susan loftus says:

    I live in Tasmania when can I move my Pig Face Plants to a deeper planter and can I cut them back and take cuttings

  14. Cathy says:

    I too am seeking advice re: flowering. As read above I may be over watering as my plants are growing healthily and spreading quickly. However I have had no flowers in last 15 months. The garden bed gets around 2-4 hours direct sun only. Does this plant need more than that? I don’t have any beds with more time of direct sun but desperately hoping to see this gorgeous flower in my garden. Any further advice?

    • Corinne says:

      Hi Cathy,
      These plants need a lot more light than you are giving them. Having said that, I notice that some of the pig face on our block grow where there is some dappled shade for part of the day. They do not need heaps of water.

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