Hottentot Fig


Hottentot Fig is the local name for the carpobrotus edulis that grows abundantly on many of the headlands (as seen above, on a headland at Torteval). It can thrive in poor, dusty soil, often with only the spray from the sea and occasional rain to water it. Its flowers range from white through to pink, via yellow.

It’s an invasive species that wasn’t originally native to the island, but which has thrived in its temperate conditions. It grows quickly and creates a mat-like mesh over the surfaces that it conquers. It is often dealt with by cutting the roots, rolling up the foliage and burning it.

Hottentot Fig

It is an import from South Africa, and its discovery in Guernsey in 1886 marked its first recorded wild sighting in Great Britain.

It can be quite harmful to existing plants in any area where it manages to establish itself, being so successful at adapting to its surroundings that it can overwhelm them to create a monoculture.

Hottentot Fig

It appears a couple of times in book 1, Dead in the Water – in one instance as the arch nemesis of Tony Guille, who is tasked with limiting its spread as part of his job with States Works.

The Sarnian Book 1: Dead in the Water

Read more about Hottentot Fig

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!

Hottentot Fig appears in The Sarnian, the explosive adventure series in which the discovery of a dead body on one of Guernsey's most secluded beaches blows the lid on a world of intrigue and deceit.

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