Strange, but my tutor at the Univ (the famous one) claims that C. acinaciformis does not exist in Malta and it is a mis-identification of C. edulis. The difference according Flora Europaea lies in the colour of the filaments of the stamens, and the way the leave thickness is distributed.
This is a pop is photographed from M'Forn. I am making a study about Aizo's
I can't check the stamens at the moment that there are no flowers, and the leaves come in various thickness forms!?, though on average looks like C. edulis.
Jackpots, where you claim to have found C. acinaciformis in Malta?
Tetraclinis, as I said I and, if I am understanding well, also RB never seen C. acinaciformis . Weber might have taken the info from a previous old book (Haslam et al, 1977) which mentions this species but in my and your tutor opinion, it is a misidentification. For the benefit of the doubt we give weber et al the word to give us the location of C.ac. and you can confirm it for us. One is innocent until proved guilty!
We definitely found a mat of about 2 square metres Carpobrotus acinaciformis 2002 on Manuel Island east coast, together with a hybrid of Matthiola incana ssp incana x M. incana ssp. melitensis, growing in the centre of the mat. We had a closer look due to the presence of the hybrid!
I found another example in 2005 at the Blue Grotto (only 1 plant together with hundreds of the red C. edulis). Interestingly, only this 1 plant was in flower- edulis not. Therefore, I had a closer look for the reason, otherwise I would not have recognized the species. In a pot of Hagar Qim restaurant, acinaci was cultivated in 2003. They also had in a container the yellow flowering edulis as well as Lampranthus and other succulents. Btw: no misidentification- determination was made by 3 of us...
So, I do not agree: acinaci is not present in Malta but I agree that it is extremely rare (and I think "thank goodness" because I learned from other countries that it seems to be much more invasive as edulis. I also agree that it is extremely difficult to distinguish from the distance and you need luck (or a reason as I described before) to have a closer look.
Are you satisfied?
I have often seen Carpobrotus in poor condition, etc, but still the size of the leaves was quite constant. The one I saw had leaves which were noticeably smaller, even now, when it is well watered.
Thanks for any info
Also, I am not really convinced from the literature about the differences in Carpos, we should need a person who study this genus.
JP: How do you distinguish edulis from acinic? Is it from the purple stamens as the keys of Haslam (=Flora eu) suggest?
Are you familiar with the photo of the other Aizoaceae with smaller red flowers?
Yes, but I seen all shapes of leaves in the same large population of C. edulis of Qbajjar, that I gave up about this distinguishing feature. I think RB also mentioned this fact. Haslam (which I assume she took it from flora europaea) states both this feature about the leaves AND the colour of the stamens (C. acinaciformis = purple, C. edulis = yellow), and so far I always seen yellow stamens, even in the book.
I also do not know if it is referred to the whole stamen (filament included) or only the immature anthers. If it is the latter, there is a problem since the purple anthers may be covered with yellow pollen giving no hint of purple in C. acinaciformis.
Il-pine (& Tetra if he is still alive) we should give a bit of priority to this plant as it is interesting. I believe JP is right but I would like to see purple stamens