Last Updated 29/10/2015

Pigface is an easy to find source of bush tucker and produces good quantities of tasty fruit. It’s a common ground covering plant found in coastal dune areas around the southern half of Australia. It has bright green succulent leaves that are triangular in cross section with tips that taper to a point. The leaves fade to dull green / grey in poor conditions.

pigface in the dune scrub

Pigface growing in the dunes on a beach in south west Western Australia.

There’s a couple of similar species – Carpobrotus rossii, found throughout the southern half of Australia, and Carpobrotus glaucescens, which is found only on the east coast. The images in this article are all of Carpobrotus rossii.

The eye-catching purple-pink flowers bloom in spring and summer.

pigface flower

Pigface fruit are edible and taste a bit like salty strawberries. The fruit emerge green and turn red when ripe. The fruit skin is not eaten. To remove from the skin, pick the fruit off the stem. Then squeeze the white inner flesh out of the hole where the stem used to join the to the fruit. The white flesh is the edible part.

pigface unripe fruit

Unripe pigface fruit

pigface ripe fruit with leaves

Ripe pigface fruit

pigface ripe fruit

Ripe pigface fruit separated from the stem

pigface squeezing out fruit

Squeezing out the inner flesh of a pigface fruit

pigface with many ripe fruit and leaves

Pigface plant growing in the dunes with many ripe fruit

The leaves are succulent and fleshy. The inner flesh of the leaves is moist and has a similar consistency to aloe vera. In fact it can be used just like aloe vero. It has a cooling, moisturising feel and can be used to treat insect bites, burns and sunburn.

pigface fruit closeup salty

Closeup of pigface fruit

pigface fruit closeup

Pigface fruit

The leaves can be eaten too and have a salty flavour. They can be used to add salt to other dishes.

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See also:

Bush Passionfruit

Boab Tree

Green Ants

Lady Apple

Palm Heart


Ruby Saltbush

back to Bush Tucker, Plants and Animals

more articles by outbackjoe

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