GUSTOIMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GUSTOIMAGES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Magenta Pink Hottentot Fig flower. Blooming period: April to October. The flowers are either magenta or yellow with a yellow centre. This plant prefers full sun, and poor, sandy soil. Thus it is found all around the coast, on the cliffs, and into the spray zone, where it can tolerate a certain amount of salt.The leaf juice is astringent and mildly antiseptic. Fruits are eaten by people and have been since ancient times. Archaeologists have found plants covering ancient middens along the coast and sometimes marking Khoikhoi burial sites (UCT Summer School lecture). The sour fig is frequently cultivated as a sand binder, groundcover, dune and embankment stabilizer, and fire-resistant barrier and also a superb water-wise plant. This photography was taken in Cyprus. It is native to South Africa, but has been inntroduced worldwide.
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