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National Botanic Gardens Home Page

vert bar Carpobrotus edulis
Last updated 1 March 2010

STATUS
Carpobrotus edulis, or Hottentot Fig, is an aggressive invader of coastal habitats on the drier eastern coasts of Ireland, and totally smothers indigenous maritime plant communities.
At present there are probably just 11-12 populations of the species (see map right and details below).
In Cornwall and the Channel islands the species is a considerable nuisance, and In Ireland we still have the potential to prevent the species getting too strong a foothold.

CONTROL
Unlike many other invasive species, money is not the limiting factor in removal of Hottentot Fig. The limiting factors are largely time and manpower. Physical removal must be undertaken with care since stems can be removed by nesting seabirds such as shags and cormorants and incorporated into nests, exacerbating the problem.
Extensive removal may result in ersosion of exposed and de-vegetated substrates.

Eradication of Carpobrotus in Minorca:
28 ha of Carpobrotus was present in 2002. By 2005, 24 ha have been eradicated and 900 tons of Carpobrotus remains had been moved. The transport of eradicated plants was a major problem. Threat is now minimised in Minorca, with Carpobrotus remaining in just two places. Landowner opposition remains an issue in eradicating these last populations.

Global Invasive Species Database


ACTIONS
On the Murroughs in County Wicklow (right) there are two patches of Carpobrotus edulis to the north of the Breaches, each about 15 x 2-3 metres in extent, and one smaller patch to the south of the Breaches.
In March 2007, 2 square metres were removed from one patch and transported off the site in black plastic sacks (below).
Beneath the thick of stems the soil was totally devoid of other vegetation.
The area will be monitored over the summer to determine the success of the removal.




Local botanists will be contacted to assess the size of the other known populations to determine the level of effort required for each site.


Status of the invasive alien Carpobrotus edulis on Howth Head, Co. Dublin, and options for its control (pdf document).
A brief description and location of each of the colonies on Howth Head is given, with proposals for its control at each site. The Heritage Council has generously given us a grant towards this work, which will be undertaken by the National Botanic Gardens in collaboration with Fingal County Council.


Known Sites for Carpobrotus edulis (based on Reynolds (2002)):
Vice-County Location
5 Near Roche’s Point, Cork Harbour 1978, 1985 (DBN); still there 1999 (Scannell, M.J.P. Cloyne, East Cork (H5), 26-27 June 1999. Ir. Bot. News No. 10: 50-53).
6 Garrarus 2000, coastal cliffs (Green, P.[R.] (2001b) Recording in Co. Waterford (v.c. H6) in 2000, X548984. Ir. Bot. News No. 11: 37-41).
Dungarvan, P.R.Green, 1974; X2793.
Ballynamona, P.R.Green & J.Wallace, X1677
12 Atlas record: T01Y, T10L…..
20 The Murrough 1972, sparingly in a few places; The Breaches S of Kilcoole Station 1994, by railway (D. Nash), also 1999 (SR). – 2 patches each about 15 x 2-3 m in extent (M.Jebb)
N of Arklow 1972 (Carvill, P.H. & Curtis, T.G.[F.] (1973) New plant records for County Wicklow. Ir. Nat. J. 17: 386-388).
Greystones harbour. Planted at back of harbour.
21 * Howth; map record (Atlas 1962). S coast of Howth from W of Drumleck Point to Baily Lighthouse 1989-90 (FDub 1998, DBN), and still extensively naturalized there 2001 (SR).
Rockabill 1990 (FDub 1998).
31 Coast S of Clogher Head mid-1990s (M. Taylor).
38 Cranfield by Carlingford Lough 1980, on sand;
Orlock 1984, abundant on rocks by shore (FNE 1992).

CONTACTS
If you have information about any other populations of Carpobrotus please notify the following:-
Matthew Jebb
National Botanic Gardens
Glasnevin
Dublin 9
matthew.jebb at opw.ie