Beauty on the Rocks
On certain parts of Jacobsbaai’s rock-strewn shores a plant grows hardy enough to withstand the ravages of the elements in most of its harshest forms – from the continuous salt-sprayed air of the West Coast to the arid sun-baked plains of the Great Karoo.
This is the ice plant, so called due to its likeliness of its leaves that forever appear in a semi-frozen state. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them growing between the huge boulders of Jacobsbaai, where they adorn an already idyllic and picturesque seaside landscape with their dainty white to yellow blooms.
In days of yore, people (especially Namaqualanders) used the leaves’ sap to remove hair from animal skins and soften the hides during the tanning process.
The leaves of the ice plant are one of the favourites used by SA’s newly selected 2018 Chef of the Year, Kobus van der Merwe, in his restaurant Wolfgat, in Paternoster.