Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant

Hottentot fig flowers are a very attractive plant. They grow well in tropical and subtropical climates. There are many varieties of hottentot fig flowers, but they all have one thing in common – they’re called “hottentots”. These plants are native to West Africa, where their name comes from the African word for “large buttocks” (tit).

The plant’s leaves are oval shaped and have three leaflets each. Each leaflet bears five petals, which are arranged in two rows of four. The flower stalks themselves are up to 1 foot tall with six segments. The stamens (female reproductive organs) and pistils (male reproductive organ) are pinkish green while the ovary is white or pale yellow.

The stigma is red.

The flowers are produced from April through July. They bloom in clusters of ten to twenty flowers on a stalk about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. The stems of these plants reach up to 5 feet high and spread out over 4 feet across. When the flowers open, they resemble little hearts with petals that look like tiny snowflakes.

A single flower will produce between 10 and 20 seeds per flower, depending upon its size.

Hottentot fig plants are in the Carpolotaceae family, which consists of about ten different species altogether. This family consists only of herbs and shrubs that are native to Africa. The Carpopotaceae family has sometimes been included into the Polophylleae family, which consists of mainly trees and shrubs that are native to Australia.

Growth Pattern and Requirements

Hottentot fig flowers do not grow well in cold climates and need a great deal of sunlight and water to thrive. They will not survive a frost. The soil must be well drained but should be rich in nutrients. The plant is shallow-rooted and will not withstand drought well.

These plants perform best in zones 9 through 11, although they may survive in zones 8 and 10 with extra watering. They will grow well in full sun to partial shade. The flowers are poisonous if eaten.

Propagation

The plant can be propagated by seed. It is also possible to divide the plant in the Spring (or if you’re really brave, wait until the following winter). Each plant will produce between three and five offshoots. These should be planted right away, as they cannot be stored.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant | igrowplants.net

Hottentot fig flowers are best propagated by seed and grown from offshoots because the cuttings may take a while to acclimate to their new surroundings.

Uses

There are several folk uses for this plant, especially in African countries. The fruit can be made into a refreshing drink and added to yogurt or ice cream. The plant is also used to flavor or add color to some wines. Medicinally, an ointment can be made from the crushed roots and used on cuts and burns.

Hottentot fig flowers are very ornamental and can be grown in a flower bed if you live in a warmer climate. Because they bloom in the spring, they can make your yard look beautiful while your other flowers are just beginning to wake up for the season. These plants are great for attracting butterflies and can also be used in rock gardens.

The fruit of this plant can be eaten, but will have a laxative effect unless cooked or ripened. The flower is the only part of the plant that is harmful and can cause a skin irritation if handled.

Warning

The ripe fruit is edible if cooked, but the unripe fruit causes diarrhea. The fresh leaves are used to make dermatitis. The milky sap is poisonous and may cause blindness. The ripe fruit is safe to eat if cooked.

Possible Confusion

There is a look-alike to the Hottentot fig, called the Cape Fig (Ficus macrocarpa). The Cape Fig, however, grows a yellow or purple berry and has larger leaflets than the Hottentot fig. The Cape Fig prefers direct sunlight and cannot survive in cold weather. The Hottentot fig can survive in partial shade and can tolerate colder temperatures.

The Various Parts of the Hottentot Fig

Uses in Witchcraft & Magic

In African and Indian culture, the Hottentot fig is considered sacred. The fruit is eaten and the wood is used in magic rituals. The plant is also used in magic for animal husbandry and to repel snakes.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant - Image

In Haiti, this plant is used in magic to attract money. The leaves and roots are also used in magic to promote psychic powers.

The Hottentot fig is used in Hoodoo to attract a lover and to break up a couple. It can also be used in spells for money, luck, and gambling.

In North American Indian magic, the Hottentot fig was said to attract humming birds.

The fruit is eaten, the flowers are ornamental, and the wood provides a yellow dye.

Other Interesting Facts

This plant is also known as the bokhara, bokharah, bohkara, bokerah, phakac, and figo. Most of the “figs” sold in grocery stores are actually from a Ficus species.

Fig trees are popular landscape trees, especially in warmer regions. They thrive in sunlight and are easy to grow. They are easily recognizable by their large, dark green leaves and the large bulb at the base of the trunk. The flowers are usually smaller than an inch and light in color.

They produce a small, round fruit that is often eaten by birds and wildlife. The fruit isn’t edible for humans because of its large quantity of seeds. These fig trees are all part of the Ficus Carica species.

The Ficus Carica species are also known as the Common Fig. The Common Fig is a small tree with brown, scalloped leaves and a large, swollen stem at the base of the trunk. The flowers are small and green in color. They produce a fruit that is eaten by humans.

Figs are also known as the Fig Tree or the Meshtree. Figs come in many varieties, the most common being green and purple in color. Figs are not eaten raw due to their high amount of fiber and small seeds. They can be eaten dried or cooked in syrups or jams.

Some cultures use figs for alcohol production. Figs are commonly used in breads, desserts, and pastries.

The Hottentot fig is also known as the bohdara, bokhara, bokkara, phakac, and figo. It is not a true fig tree and is not related to the Common Fig or the Railroad Vine.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant - Image

The species name Sempervirens means “evergreen” in Latin. This refers to the evergreen nature of this plant, as well as the “green figs” it produces throughout the year.

The genus name is the nickname of a German professor named Link. The Hottentot fig was first discovered by a man named Link.

The Hottentot fig is related to a plant in the US called the Creeping Barberry (which is sometimes used as a hedge). Both plants are in the Grape family. Both are also evergreen.

The Creeping Barberry (also known as the American Barberry) is in the Berberideae family. The Hottentot fig is in the Ficoideae subfamily.

The Hottentot fig is sometimes called the African Barberry. It doesn’t look anything like a European or American Barberry, however.

The Creeping Barberry has small red berries it uses to attract birds and mammals which then disperse its seeds. It is unknown if the Hottentot fig has similar methods of seed dispersal.

The Creeping Barberry is sometimes grown as a hedge in warmer climates. It has oval leaves that are not as large or green as the Hottentot fig’s leaves. (It also doesn’t grow as large or quickly as the Hottentot fig, so people usually don’t use it for landscaping).

The Creeping Barberry is sometimes used as a companion plant to onions and other plants.

The Hottentot fig and the Creeping Barberry are both used in landscaping in California, Florida, and Hawaii.

Hottentot fig leaves can be boiled down into a black dye, which can be used as ink for printing or writing.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant on igrowplants.net

The Hottentot fig is sometimes used as an ornamental plant in landscaping.

Cats are known to be fond of the fruit and young shoots of the Hottentot fig.

The leaves and fruits of the plant contain a poisonous substance called Harman. It is not known if this is harmful to humans.

The fruits of the Hottentot fig are yellow, ovoid, and bumpy. They naturally grow in small bunches on the ends of branches. Each fruit is about an inch long and wide, and is covered with small bumps like goose bumps. When ripe it splits open to reveal a large black seed.

The wood of the tree is yellow and soft, but durable in water.

The Hottentot fig is a slow growing tree that can reach about 25 feet tall. It has dark green leaves that grow in clusters of threes. The trunk is gray and smooth. It blooms with small white flowers in the spring and summer.

There are some large old specimens of this tree growing in South Africa.

The Hottentot fig grows in parts of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. It prefers dry savanna, coastal areas, and rocky hillsides.

It can be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 7B and warmer, or in a container and taken inside in colder climates.

The Hottentot fig needs full sun or light shade. It prefers dry soil, but will do okay in normal soil types.

The Creeping Barberry can survive in wet soil or underwater.

Both plants can be propagated by seed.

The seeds of the Hottentot fig should be planted as soon as they are ripe, which can be identified by their wrinkly skin. The Creeping Barberry’s seeds should be soaked overnight before planting. They should be planted shallowly, as they need light to germinate.

Both plants can also be propagated by layering.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant | igrowplants.net

The Creeping Barberry is a good choice as a low-maintenance hedge in USDA Hardiness Zones 7B through 10, and in container gardens anywhere.

It can catch onto the branches of other shrubs and trees, so it can be used to create instant hedges.

It is not invasive like some types of Barberry, but can still take over large areas if not kept in check.

The Creeping Barberry is drought tolerant and can survive in wet soil or underwater.

It is a good choice for stabilizing stream banks and other areas that are prone to flooding.

The Creeping Barberry’s small, glossy leaves turn a nice red in the fall.

The Hottentot fig can be used as an interesting ornamental tree in USDA Hardiness Zones 7B through 11, and in a container garden anywhere.

It has a thick trunk and gnarled branches that make it look very old, even when it’s young.

It can grow quite large, but it is slow growing. It will produce small yellow flowers, followed by lots of bumpy yellow fruits.

These trees are long-lived and can survive in harsh conditions. Some specimens in South Africa are said to be over 500 years old!

The wood of the Hottentot fig is yellow and soft, but durable in water.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant at igrowplants.net

It is drought tolerant and can survive in wet soil or underwater.

It provides food and shelter for birds, bats, bees and other wildlife.

The Hottentot fig tree is beautiful when it flowers in the spring.

The flowers are tiny and grow in clusters.

The fruit of the Hottentot fig is yellow, ovoid, and bumpy. It naturally grows in small bunches on the ends of branches. Each fruit is about an inch long and wide, and is covered with small bumps like goosebumps.

The fruits are considered to be a “bizarre” type of berry, because they mature after pollination. This means that part of the fruit is fertilized, while the rest is not. The fig is actually the “flower” of a plant that produces seeds rather than berries or fruit.

In the wild, the fruit is eaten by birds such as Weaverbirds, which then excrete the seeds in a process called “bartering.” The seeds are then spread across the land to grow and flourish.

The Hottentot fig tree is not edible to humans.

The edible fig (or Ficus Carica) grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 7B through 11, and in a container garden anywhere.

It is commonly used as an ornamental plant because of its unique flowers and fruit. The Creeping Fig’s small, glossy leaves turn a nice red in the fall.

Figs grow well in containers, especially if they are in full sun or partial shade. They are drought-resistant plants that need very little water.

They can grow in dry or wet soil, but like most plants, will be healthier and less susceptible to disease if they are given a good quality potting soil.

Growing Hottentot Fig Flowers: Information About Hottentot Fig Ice Plant | igrowplants.net

The Creeping Fig tree should be fertilized with a citrus-based fertilizer in the spring. Water when the soil is dry about an inch below the surface.

If you are transplanting from a container outdoors, the best times to plant would be in the spring or fall.

The Creeping Fig can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 7B through 11, and in a container garden anywhere.

The Temple or Booming Bell Tree (Millettia duclissiniana) is an evergreen tree, growing to 30m tall.

It is a tropical tree that grows along riverbanks in central and west Africa, particularly Ghana and Cameroon. In French it is called the “Millette Jacquier”.

It has glossy oval leaves and a light gray bark. From February to May it bears clusters of small green flowers.

The fruit is a small brown pod containing a single dark reddish brown seed.

The seeds are large compared with the size of the tree, which is why it is also known as the ‘Booming Bell Tree’.

It prefers a position in full sun or partial shade and fertile soil that is well-drained. It is drought resistant once it is established.

Sources & references used in this article:

Mapping nonnative plants using hyperspectral imagery by E Underwood, S Ustin, D DiPietro – Remote sensing of Environment, 2003 – Elsevier

… 10 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland: Managing two invasive non-native species for plant diversity in Ireland by N Smyth – Sibbaldia: The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture, 2013 – journals.rbge.org.uk

If you cannot beat them, join them: Exploring the fruits of the invasive species Carpobrotus edulis (L.) NE Br as a source of bioactive products by V Castañeda-Loaiza, C Placines, MJ Rodrigues… – Industrial Crops and …, 2020 – Elsevier

Morphology and Betalain Characterization of ‘Iceplants'(Aizoaceae) from the Coast of Wellington, New Zealand by CM D’Antonio, AM Howald – … ’89: The New …, 1990 – Society for Ecological Restoration …

Categories:

Tags:

Comments are closed