Spekboom is a drought-resistant plant that can survive on just 250mm to 350mm a year, so it’s low maintenance. 2005a, 2005b). Spekboom is the first canopy dominant to succumb to browsing, being entirely eliminated in severe cases of degradation. Portulacaria is a common landscape plant in Phoenix, Arizona and southern California, growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11. 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. Small star-shaped pink flowers are borne en masse from late winter to spring although flowering in cultivation is often erratic. [8], It is capable of either C3 or CAM carbon fixation, depending on factors such as the season and the age of the leaves. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location. Scientific Binomial Name. Spekboom is indigenous to South Africa. [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. Portulacaria leaves are high in Vitamin-C and have a sour, juicy crunch. No time to water your garden? 10th June 2019 | No Comments | Categories: climate change, Forests. About Portulacaria afra. It is much hardier, faster growing, more loosely branched, and has more limber tapering branches than Crassula once established. Portulacaria afr… Download Spekboom stock photos. Spekboom regenerates quickly, ensuring regular food supply. 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. Portulacaria afra – the name might sound like a mouthful, so it might be easier to refer to this plant by another name. 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! [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]. All About Growing Portulacaria afra. 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 afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. In Southern Africa it is commonly eaten, usually as one component of a salad or a soup. Spekboom is one of the best carbon sequestrators in the world. Botany; Botany. : 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. See them in gardens large and small, and discover their surprising benefits and attributes. A winged Iruit is a samara. In case you were wondering, it doesn’t taste like bacon. There are 112 recognized thicket types, each with a different percent cover of spekboom. It has small round soft green glossy padded leaves with burgundy red stems. 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. 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. It is also found in much denser numbers in the dryer southern Cape. In the wilds of South Africa, large plants do survive the winter frosts by growing dense enough to provide their own natural cover. 176 Plants and their Ways in South Africa Tripteris, Triaspis, Dodunaea, Combretiim (Roodeblad), and Portulacaria (Spekboom) have winged fruits. Find out how to select, use and grow these easy-care succulents from South Africa. Help save the planet by planting your 15 succulent spekboom. They are simple to care for and make easy houseplants for a sunny location. A very hardy, drought-tolerant plant best grown in desert and succulent karoo gardens. It’s a pretty-looking shrub with small round green leaves and red stems. Tag: types of spekboom . These succulents need well drained soil and an unglazed pot that will help excess moisture evaporate. The Spekboom Challenge is a social media drive, motivating all South Africans to plant at least 10 Spekbome each, in 2020. The plant can also fit in most types of environments – from desserts to rain forests – due to its unique photosynthetic procedures. P. afra is also used to feed livestock during periods of drought due to its succulent nature. It can sequester a maximum of 15.4 t CO2 ha−1yr−1. It’s water wise. These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. Water & hunidity [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. Easy to care for and make good houseplants. My collection and my knowledge of these incredible tolerant species has grown over the last 15 years. In this moist climate, it is relatively rare, and tends to favour dryer rocky outcrops and slopes. These types … [12][13] The addition of more spekboom into the environment can also help restore native species to areas where they no longer can grow. https://farmingportal.co.za/.../3497-the-cultivation-and-growth-rate-of-spekboom In frost-free regions they may be used in outdoor landscaping. Drought-tolerant and fire-resistant, it will endure desert sun and heat once established, which the jade plant will not. Plants and their ways in South Africa. These succulents commonly have a reddish stem and leaves that are green, but also a variegated cultivar is often seen in cultivation. These plants can take more carbon out of the air than any other plant. This colorful succulent garden is a three-dimensional showcase of succulents superbly suited to mild, frost-free regions. Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen shrub that is usually between 2.5 to 4.5 or more meters tall. [5]. Fights climatic change and improves the quality of breathable air. – 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. Spekboom is also a popular common name for this plant and in some places it is well known as Dwarf … [9] The maturity of the leaf tissue also matters because younger tissue is unable to completely seal the stomata, making CAM impossible. It has small round succulent leaves and red stems. Several varieties exist - some bred in cultivation, others naturally occurring:[6]. It is a resilient plant found predominantly in the semi-arid Karoo region of the Eastern Cape. https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g1683/delicious-pickled-recipes [4] In these environments, P. afra is a source of food for multiple large herbivores, such as the Black rhinoceros and the African elephant. Planted in the … The wonderful pop of colour is a welcome sight in the otherwise green or … 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. They are also great for landscaping and require very little water. 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 truit of the grasses the ovary wall and the seed-coat become attached to each other. (hereafter spekboom) (Stuart-Hill 1992; Lechmere-Oertel et al. This plant has the … How does the Spekboom store its water? Affordable and search from millions of royalty free images, photos and vectors. It is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen upright shrub or small tree, usually 2.5–4.5 metres (8–15 ft) tall. [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. Dwarf Jade Plant, Miniature Jade, Elephant Bush, Elephant Plant, Elephant’s Food, Porkbush, Spekboom, Yellow Rainbow Bush, Small Leaf Jade. 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.". Spekboom: Miracle plant and superfood. This popular succulent plant is found on rocky slopes in the Karoo scrub and semi-arid landscapes in the eastern parts of South Africa. [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. 2002). The flowers lure insects and birds from afar because of its nectar. 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. Description of Dwarf Jade Plant, Portulacaria afra. 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. It is popular as a specimen for bonsai, and as a hardy xeriscaping plant. [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. Here it occurs from the Little Karoo of the Western Cape, eastwards up until the thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape. Portulacaria afra (known as elephant bush, dwarf jade plant, porkbush and spekboom in Afrikaans) is a small-leaved succulent plant found in South Africa. Of the 16,942km2 of solid (unbroken canopy) spekboom-dominated thicket, 46% has been heavily, and 36% moderately degraded (Lloyd et al. [5] Although it is not the primary food source for these animals, it still makes up a significant portion of their diet. Portulacaria afra. Also, carbon leakage from the soil is positively correlated with lag since conversion. This soft semi-wood evergreen shrub can grow up to 4.5m and creates beautiful flowers loved by bees. In frost-free regions they may be used in outdoor landscaping. It is very widespread in the east of South Africa (including Eswatini). 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. 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)). Cuttings root very easily in most potting media. 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. Portulacaria afra (elephant's food, elephant bush, 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. [14], Carbon sequestration and ecological impact, "The winter diet of elephant in Eastern Cape Subtropical Thicket, Addo Elephant National Park", "Portulacaria afra Jacq. Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low … The plant is the dominant species within the subtropical thicket biome, as well in biomass as in cover and relative abundance. Portulacaria afra (Porkbush) or “Spekboom“ as we all know it , is one of my favourite specimens to work with. It should not to be confused with the jade plant, which is mildly toxic. The word “afra” is in reference to the fact that the plant occurs in Africa. Spekboom is beautiful when it is in full bloom; the noticeable rosy flowers cover the succulent in a sea of pink. Hectare for hectare, … 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. Growing Spekboom. 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. Star-shaped pink flowers attract insects and birds to the garden from late winter until spring. 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. [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. Portulacaria afra "Elephant Bush" | Succulents and Sunshine 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. 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