Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Aizoaceae or Ficoidaceae, Fig Marigold or Ice Plant Family

Aizoaceae, also known as the Fig Marigold or Ice Plant family is a relatively small tropical family endemic to arid or semiarid parts of southern Africa. Members are generally herbs with single flowers, apetalous with sepals only, succulent, with simple leaves, opposite or alternate. The fruit is a capsule.

Some Aizoaceae species are called stone plants or carpet weeds. Stone plants of the genus Lithops, from South Africa, are often sold as novelty plants as they resemble small stones or pebbles. These Lithops are often referred to as "mesembs".

Aizoaceae also includes the Ice Plant (Carpobrotus edulis), a widespread invasive in California, Florida, Mexico and South America.

In North America there are 17 general and 40 accepted species; most are found in California and most are invasive. World-wide The Plant List, includes 134 genera in Aizoaceae and over 1,000 accepted species.

5 species in Arizona, 2 native, 3 invasive.

References: updated 09/26/2016, updated 08/06/2017

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database. (accessed 09/26/2016).
The Plant List. A working list of all known plant species. [accessed 15 February 2015]
Wikipedia contributors, 'Aizoaceae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 28 January 2015, 20:19 UTC, [accessed 15 February 2015]