The pigface plant was used as an anti-scurvy treatment since the European Explorers arrival. The juice can soothe irritation caused by insect bites, and can treat jellyfish and similar stings.

It helps settle stomach problems like diarrhoea and stomach cramps when mixed with water. It acts much like aloe and can be applied to skin to heal wounds, mosquito bites, sunburns, and various skin conditions.

The pigface plant has been used to treat tuberculosis, combined with honey and olive oil. The fruit has laxative properties and can help to treat ringworm, eczema, dermatitis, herpes, thrush, cold sores, cracked lips, chafing, and allergies.

The juice from the leaves can be mixed with water and used as a gargle for sore throats and mild bacterial infections of the mouth.

How wide can a pigface plant grow?

These ground covers really like to spread out and can reach a width of up to 3 metres.

Does carpobrotus rossii really help stop fires from spreading?

The pigface plant has very fleshy leaves and is indeed fire-resistant. It can be used in barrier plantings to prevent the spread of forest fires.

Is it true that pigface is sometimes considered an invasive species?

The fruit of the plant is eaten by many animals and birds that also spread its seed when eating mature fruit. These include deer, rabbits, and rodents. Various Carpobrotus species are considered invasive species in suitable climates around the world.

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The harm they do is weighed against their value as firebreaks and as food for wildlife but they can prevent growth of native plant species.

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How long does it take for a pigface to produce fruit?

It takes about a year for the pigface plant to start producing fruit.

Do pigface plants have really deep roots if they hold sand dunes in place?

Carpobrotus rossii produces many shallow adventitious roots from the nodes on the stems.

How long can a pigface plant live?

Pigface is a perennial plant and has a lifespan of more than 2 years.

What purpose does pigface have in the wild?

Pigface is an important food for animals in Africa. Tortoises eat the leaves, baboons and antelopes eat the flowers and fruit, and porcupines eat just the fruit.

Any undigested seed from the animals is spread through their faeces. Cape cobras and puff adders wait for their prey in dense clumps of pigface, while lizards use the succulent as shelter.

Where else is pigface classified as invasive besides Australia?

In California and the Mediterranean region where it forms thick mats on the pastures, dunes and coasts.

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