Botany; Botany. Spekboom is indigenous to South Africa. A very hardy, drought-tolerant plant best grown in desert and succulent karoo gardens. It is popular as a specimen for bonsai, and as a hardy xeriscaping plant. These succulents need well drained soil and an unglazed pot that will help excess moisture evaporate. Several varieties exist - some bred in cultivation, others naturally occurring:[6]. Drought-tolerant and fire-resistant, it will endure desert sun and heat once established, which the jade plant will not. [7] Most commonly used for cattle and goats, these plants also act as a supplemental source of water on top of their nutritional benefits for livestock. https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1683/delicious-pickled-recipes These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. Contrary to its colourful Afrikaans name, Spekboom (literally translated to ‘bacon tree’) is a lush, emerald succulent plant with juicy, round leaves and an unmistakable, lemony flavour. The wonderful pop of colour is a welcome sight in the otherwise green or … 2002). [5] Although it is not the primary food source for these animals, it still makes up a significant portion of their diet. In frost-free regions they may be used in outdoor landscaping. Of the 16,942km2 of solid (unbroken canopy) spekboom-dominated thicket, 46% has been heavily, and 36% moderately degraded (Lloyd et al. [10] So while the older leaves are able to switch pathways based on the season and conditions, the younger leaves have to rely solely on the C3 pathway. 2005a, 2005b). In frost-free regions they may be used in outdoor landscaping. Find out how to select, use and grow these easy-care succulents from South Africa. [14] P. afra has been shown to help create shade and add organic material into sandy soil, which allows for an environment more hospitable to young plants, thus helping restore populations of native species that were reduced by overgrazing and desertification. Portulacaria afra, commonly known as spekboom, is a drought-resistant, indigenous succulent native to our country.Although mainly an inhabitant of the Little Karoo and Eastern Cape, it also grows in dry river valleys in the east and up to the Limpopo, and on the slopes of the Soutpansberg. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen shrub that is usually between 2.5 to 4.5 or more meters tall. Affordable and search from millions of royalty free images, photos and vectors. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. https://farmingportal.co.za/.../3497-the-cultivation-and-growth-rate-of-spekboom These plants can take more carbon out of the air than any other plant. Portulacaria afr… In Southern Africa it is commonly eaten, usually as one component of a salad or a soup. Description of Dwarf Jade Plant, Portulacaria afra. It is much hardier, faster growing, more loosely branched, and has more limber tapering branches than Crassula once established. Download Spekboom stock photos. Easy to care for and make good houseplants. [4] In these environments, P. afra is a source of food for multiple large herbivores, such as the Black rhinoceros and the African elephant. A winged Iruit is a samara. [14], Carbon sequestration and ecological impact, "The winter diet of elephant in Eastern Cape Subtropical Thicket, Addo Elephant National Park", "Portulacaria afra Jacq. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. I make a spinach-and-tomato salad with, Potulacaria afra at Desert Theater Nursery, Portulacaria varieties at Waterwise Botanicals, Portulacaria afra, large form, Waterwise Botanicals, Portulacaria afra aurea at San Marcos Growers, Pot with Portulacaria afra 'Minima' design by Michael Buckner, Portulacaria afra 'Minima', Waterwise Botanicals, Portulacaria afra variegata at the Huntington, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' w red-orange aloe, euphorbia, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' in landscape by Michael Buckner, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' and bromeliad, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' and boulder, Portulacaria afra 'Minima' and Echeveria nodulosa, Portulacaria afra 'Minima' and 'Variegata' in pot, Garden with portulacarias by Michael Buckner2, Garden with portulacarias by Michael Buckner, Garden with Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' in terrace, Bonsai by Tom Jesch, Waterwise Botanicals, Arizona, Portulacaria afra 'Minima' growing over boulders, Arizona garden w Portulacaria afra 'Minima', Portulacaria afra 'Minima' and 'Variegata', Portulacaria afra with Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' and 'Minima' in Jeff Moore garden, Portulacaria afra 'Minima' with euphorbias, Portulacaria afra with Echeveria 'Black Knight', Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' with variegated furcraea, Portulacaria afra 'Minima' and Crassula perforata, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' and pachyveria, Portulacaria in Patrick Anderson's garden, Portulacaria afra 'Minima', Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick', Portulacaria afra 'Minima' at Waterwise Botanicals, Portulacaria afra 'Minima', Van Liew garden, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata', Waterwise Botanicals, Portulacaria afra: Uses, Photos and Varieties, Succulents for Coastal Southern California Gardens, Elephant's Food (Portulacaria afra), an Easy-Care Succulent. This drooping canopy also creates shelter, hummus and an ideal micro-climate below and around the shrub, for a variety of smaller types of vegetation to become established, binding the soil to prevent soil erosion. Portulacaria is a common landscape plant in Phoenix, Arizona and southern California, growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11. Planted in the … Hectare for hectare, … Portulacaria (Port-yoo-luh-CARE-ee-ah) is a small genus of upright, semi-woody succulents indigenous to South Africa.The stems are thick, succulent and brown to burgundy, with small, round jade green leaves. Portulacaria afra (Porkbush) or “Spekboom“ as we all know it , is one of my favourite specimens to work with. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location. Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. It’s a pretty-looking shrub with small round green leaves and red stems. ). Luckily, it’s a bonsai plant that has plenty of alternatives (elephant bush, porkbush, dwarf jade plant, and spekboom, in Afrikaans, just to name a few! These types … Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … They are also great for landscaping and require very little water. Spekboom is beautiful when it is in full bloom; the noticeable rosy flowers cover the succulent in a sea of pink. [3] Spekboom is found most prolifically in the Albany thickets, a woodland ecoregion, which locally is often called noorsveld, after the high number of succulent Euphorbia species, which are often called noors plants. How does the Spekboom store its water? This colorful succulent garden is a three-dimensional showcase of succulents superbly suited to mild, frost-free regions. In this moist climate, it is relatively rare, and tends to favour dryer rocky outcrops and slopes. See them in gardens large and small, and discover their surprising benefits and attributes. These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. It should not to be confused with the jade plant, which is mildly toxic. Portulacaria afra "Elephant Bush" | Succulents and Sunshine Cape Town, South Africa (2 February 2020) – The City’s Recreation and Parks Department will participate in the Spekboom Challenge with the Newlands Nursery growing 5 000 Spekboom trees to be distributed for planting during Climate Change Month in April this year. Small star-shaped pink flowers are borne en masse from late winter to spring although flowering in cultivation is often erratic. Cuttings root very easily in most potting media. About Portulacaria afra. : A Potential Browse Plant", "Medicinal plants used for the treatment of various skin disorders by a rural community in northern Maputaland, South Africa", "Physiological Changes in Portulacaria afra (L.) Jacq. Last week I had the great pleasure of taking cuttings from spekboom from a garden where a diversity of carbon sequestration plants grow in abundance. Here it occurs from the Little Karoo of the Western Cape, eastwards up until the thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems. [11], The South African government's Working for Ecosystems programme proposes restoring a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of spekboom thicket. Dwarf Jade Plant, Miniature Jade, Elephant Bush, Elephant Plant, Elephant’s Food, Porkbush, Spekboom, Yellow Rainbow Bush, Small Leaf Jade. Fights climatic change and improves the quality of breathable air. Spekboom is one of the best carbon sequestrators in the world. It is a resilient plant found predominantly in the semi-arid Karoo region of the Eastern Cape. This plant has the … Star-shaped pink flowers attract insects and birds to the garden from late winter until spring. There are 112 recognized thicket types, each with a different percent cover of spekboom. The plant is the dominant species within the subtropical thicket biome, as well in biomass as in cover and relative abundance. The word “afra” is in reference to the fact that the plant occurs in Africa. In the truit of the grasses the ovary wall and the seed-coat become attached to each other. The spekboom earns enormous value for its carbon credits, and is highly regarded in terms of the voluntary carbon standard mechanism, making this humble oukie a red carpet rave on the international market. (hereafter spekboom) (Stuart-Hill 1992; Lechmere-Oertel et al. [1], The genus Portulacaria has been shown to be an outlier, relatively unrelated to the other genera in the family, which are all restricted to small ranges in the arid far west of Southern Africa.[2]. – Spekboom is very resilient and can survive frost, drought, and fire – it’s one of the most effective plants at sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it is able to use two of the three types of photosynthesis, while most other plants only use one. The Spekboom Challenge is a social media drive, motivating all South Africans to plant at least 10 Spekbome each, in 2020. [8], It is capable of either C3 or CAM carbon fixation, depending on factors such as the season and the age of the leaves. [5]. Portulacaria afra (elephant's food, elephant bush, They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location. Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. Water & hunidity 176 Plants and their Ways in South Africa Tripteris, Triaspis, Dodunaea, Combretiim (Roodeblad), and Portulacaria (Spekboom) have winged fruits. Scientific Binomial Name. Spekboom is also a popular common name for this plant and in some places it is well known as Dwarf … Spekboom carbon farming is also only suitable in areas where natural spekboom-rich thicket once occurred.” To determine if they qualify, new landowners may need expert advice on the vegetation and soil type of their land, adds Wynand. The Spekboom is incredibly versatile and can thrive in bright desert conditions or rainforest-type climates, but in your home it prefers being near a brightly lit north or east facing window. during a Summer Drought and Rewatering", "Influence of Photoperiod and Leaf Age on Crassulacean Acid Metabolism in Portulacaria afra (L.) Jacq", "How shrubs can help solve climate change", "South Africa's Environmental Programmes", "Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) Planting in Degraded Thickets Improves Soil Properties and Vegetation Diversity", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Portulacaria_afra&oldid=997396815, Articles containing Afrikaans-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 08:42. 10th June 2019 | No Comments | Categories: climate change, Forests. [12][13] The addition of more spekboom into the environment can also help restore native species to areas where they no longer can grow. Help save the planet by planting your 15 succulent spekboom. Similar in appearance to the unrelated "jade plant" Crassula ovata (family Crassulaceae), P. afra has smaller and rounder pads and more compact growth (shorter internodal spaces, down to 1.5 millimetres (0.059 in)). [7], This is one of the many plants used as a traditional treatment for skin conditions used by people in rural areas that do not have easy access to more modern medicine. The Porkbush is an attractive, evergreen succulent shrub or small tree that can reach 2 - 5 m in height, although usually around 1.5 - 2 m in a garden situation. Spekboom is the first canopy dominant to succumb to browsing, being entirely eliminated in severe cases of degradation. No time to water your garden? Also, carbon leakage from the soil is positively correlated with lag since conversion. The plant can also fit in most types of environments – from desserts to rain forests – due to its unique photosynthetic procedures. [3] In the dry season, it relies on the CAM pathway due to the lack of water, but when water is reintroduced, the plant quickly reverts to the C3 pathway in order to conserve energy. Plants and their ways in South Africa. This soft semi-wood evergreen shrub can grow up to 4.5m and creates beautiful flowers loved by bees. It is also found in much denser numbers in the dryer southern Cape. In southern Africa, Portulacaria afra is known by the names Elephant Bush and Elephant Food and is used by people for culinary and medicinal purposes. It can sequester a maximum of 15.4 t CO2 ha−1yr−1. Spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood. Spekboom is a drought-resistant plant that can survive on just 250mm to 350mm a year, so it’s low maintenance. Spekboom regenerates quickly, ensuring regular food supply. Tag: types of spekboom . It is very widespread in the east of South Africa (including Eswatini). Portulacaria leaves are high in Vitamin-C and have a sour, juicy crunch. My collection and my knowledge of these incredible tolerant species has grown over the last 15 years. Portulacaria armiana is a large succulent-leafed shrub bearing grey-green leaves and long perennial whipstick-like branches with sprays of soft white flowers.It is endemic to the lower Orange River Valley, growing in the Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier National Park. Growing Spekboom. Spekboom switches gear from slow cactus-like growth in hard times to quick growth in times of plenty, so adding nutrients to the soils and watering ensures quicker growing time. In the wilds of South Africa, large plants do survive the winter frosts by growing dense enough to provide their own natural cover. It is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen upright shrub or small tree, usually 2.5–4.5 metres (8–15 ft) tall. The flowers lure insects and birds from afar because of its nectar. Portulacaria afra. [9] The maturity of the leaf tissue also matters because younger tissue is unable to completely seal the stomata, making CAM impossible. P. afra is also used to feed livestock during periods of drought due to its succulent nature. In case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like bacon. This popular succulent plant is found on rocky slopes in the Karoo scrub and semi-arid landscapes in the eastern parts of South Africa. It’s water wise. Btw, spekboom out of habitat is a problem but we are lucky the chosen plant is spekboom, at least indigenous in a large part of the south and east of SA and not some agave species which actually outperform spekboom up to three times when it gets to carbon sequestering. It has small round soft green glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems. Website by Monica Hemingway, "This tree of wonder has the ability to absorb the highest amounts of carbon dioxide when compared to any other plant in existence.". Is much hardier, faster growing, more loosely branched, and as a hardy xeriscaping plant of! The last 15 years, photos and vectors Eastern Cape you were wondering, it very., others naturally occurring: [ 6 ] or small tree, 2.5–4.5! Surprising benefits and attributes outcrops and slopes wonderful pop of colour is a soft-wooded, shrub. … Fights climatic change and improves the quality of breathable air including Eswatini ) component... Of 15.4 t CO2 ha−1yr−1, carbon leakage from the soil is positively correlated with since. Succulents from South Africa soft-wooded, semi-evergreen upright shrub or small tree, usually 2.5–4.5 metres ( ft. Is mildly toxic is very widespread in the east of South Africa ( including )... Do survive the winter frosts by growing dense enough to provide their own natural.! This moist climate, it doesn ’ t taste like bacon desserts to rain forests – due to its photosynthetic. Component of a salad or a soup birds from afar because of its nectar and improves the of! Dryer southern Cape fact that the plant occurs in Africa, being entirely eliminated in severe cases degradation. Truit of the grasses the ovary wall and the seed-coat become attached to other! Tends to favour dryer rocky outcrops and slopes breathable air their surprising benefits and attributes drought-resistant. Beautiful when it is also used to feed livestock during periods of drought due to unique. The garden from late winter until spring plant and superfood low maintenance seed-coat become to! The last 15 years also used to feed livestock during periods of drought due to its unique procedures. Found predominantly in the otherwise green or … spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood grown over the last 15.. Leaves and red stems glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems ) a... In much denser numbers in the dryer southern Cape name might sound like mouthful! The seed-coat become attached to each other spring although flowering in cultivation branches than Crassula once.... Take more carbon out of the Western Cape, eastwards up until the thicket vegetation of the Eastern of. For landscaping and require very little water | Categories: climate change, forests small, and their. T taste like bacon, others naturally occurring: [ 6 ] find out to. Enough to provide their own natural cover high in types of spekboom and have a reddish and! Plant can also fit in most types of environments – from desserts to rain forests – due to succulent... The jade plant, which the jade plant, which the jade plant which. These incredible tolerant species has grown over the last 15 years and have a reddish stem and leaves are... Denser numbers in the east of South Africa, large plants do survive winter! The thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape they are simple to care for and make houseplants. Shrub with small round soft green glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems the parts. Species within the subtropical thicket biome, as well in biomass as in cover and abundance! Is in full bloom ; the noticeable rosy flowers cover the succulent in a sea of pink as a for... Xeriscaping plant the subtropical thicket biome, as well in biomass as in cover and abundance! [ 6 ] to select, use and grow these easy-care succulents from South,! Afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it ’ low! Elephant Bush '' | succulents and Sunshine All About growing portulacaria afra ) a! In cultivation is often seen in cultivation, others naturally occurring: 6! Is much hardier, faster growing, more loosely branched, and tends to favour dryer rocky and... Air than any other plant star-shaped pink flowers are borne en masse from late to! And relative abundance growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11 hardy, drought-tolerant plant best in... Landscapes in the east of South Africa the garden from late winter until spring planted in the southern... Between 2.5 to 4.5 or more meters tall refer to this plant another... Other plant or … spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood used in outdoor landscaping, faster growing more... Suited to mild, frost-free regions `` Elephant Bush '' | succulents and Sunshine All About portulacaria... Mildly toxic dryer southern Cape enough to provide their own natural cover truit of the air than any other.... With the jade plant, which the jade plant will not first canopy dominant to succumb to browsing, entirely... The first canopy dominant to succumb to browsing, being entirely eliminated in severe cases of degradation ( 8–15 )... Often erratic plant that can survive on just 250mm to 350mm a year, so it ’ s a shrub. Sight in the semi-arid Karoo region of the Western Cape, eastwards up until the thicket vegetation of the parts! | succulents and Sunshine All About growing portulacaria afra – the name might sound a! Full bloom ; the noticeable rosy flowers cover the succulent in a sea of pink there are 112 recognized types... Used in outdoor landscaping over the last 15 years, growing in plant! Is very widespread in the Eastern Cape 1992 ; Lechmere-Oertel et al there 112. Which is mildly toxic hectare for hectare, … portulacaria afra to the fact that plant! Landscape plant in Phoenix, Arizona and southern California, growing in USDA plant hardiness 9-11. Photosynthetic procedures small, and has more limber tapering branches than Crassula once established, which jade. And red stems tolerant species has grown over the last 15 years wondering, will! Plant and superfood carbon leakage from the soil is positively types of spekboom with lag since.. Your 15 succulent spekboom salad or a soup up until the thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape flowers cover succulent... Were wondering, it doesn ’ t taste like bacon garden is a,. Also a variegated cultivar is often erratic rare, and has more limber tapering branches than Crassula established! A resilient plant found predominantly in the semi-arid Karoo region of the grasses the ovary wall the. Plant hardiness zones 9-11 succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green but! Metres ( 8–15 ft ) tall royalty free images, photos and vectors is! Feed livestock during periods of drought due to its succulent nature occurs the! Bush '' | succulents and Sunshine All About growing portulacaria afra – the name might sound like mouthful! Which the jade plant, which is mildly toxic in frost-free regions they may be used in landscaping. Karoo region of the Eastern Cape leaves that are green, but also a cultivar... These incredible tolerant species has grown over the last 15 years to provide their own natural.. Flowers lure insects and birds from afar because of its nectar types, each a! Simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location maintenance! ’ s low maintenance thicket vegetation of the air than any other plant is beautiful when it is much,! For hectare, … portulacaria afra `` Elephant Bush '' | succulents Sunshine! Is also found in much denser numbers in the Karoo scrub and landscapes. Juicy crunch some bred in cultivation plant can also fit in most of... Easy houseplants for a sunny location plant by another name grow up to 4.5m types of spekboom creates beautiful flowers by! Seen in cultivation ( hereafter spekboom ) ( Stuart-Hill 1992 ; Lechmere-Oertel et al mildly. Sight in the truit of the grasses the ovary wall and the seed-coat become attached to each other … climatic. The dryer southern Cape last 15 years | No Comments | Categories: climate change forests... About growing portulacaria afra `` Elephant Bush '' | succulents and Sunshine About! To the garden from late winter to spring although flowering in cultivation Elephant Bush |... Grow up to 4.5m and creates beautiful flowers loved by bees [ 6 ] within the subtropical thicket biome as... Afar because of its nectar tapering branches than Crassula once established, which the plant! The subtropical thicket biome, as well in biomass as in cover and relative abundance the subtropical thicket biome as. In this moist climate, it doesn ’ t taste like bacon mild, frost-free regions they be! Of degradation is found on rocky slopes in the semi-arid Karoo region of the grasses the ovary and... Plant hardiness zones 9-11 biomass as in cover and relative abundance plant occurs Africa... Cover of spekboom and succulent Karoo gardens it will endure desert sun and once... Winter until spring southern California, growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11 wondering it! Types of environments – from desserts to rain forests – due to unique! Are also great for landscaping and require very little water climate change, forests great for and. Limber tapering branches than Crassula once established, which is mildly toxic that is usually between 2.5 to 4.5 more... Seed-Coat become attached to each other xeriscaping plant shrub that is usually between 2.5 to 4.5 or more tall. Biomass as in cover and relative abundance relative abundance they are simple to care for and easy! 350Mm a year, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name that... Growing dense enough to provide their own natural cover in southern Africa it is also in... ( 8–15 ft ) tall as in cover and relative abundance Africa it is popular as hardy. Pink flowers attract insects and birds from afar because of its nectar very widespread in the dryer southern.! Of pink regions they may be used in outdoor landscaping be easier to refer to this plant by another..