Portulacaria afra commonly know as pork bush, spekboom or elephant’s food is being cultivated globally for the efficient role it plays in carbon sequestration. The succulent plant works as a carbon sponge binding atmospheric carbon that influences climate change on planet earth. By planting more of these indigenous succulents, it will assist in reducing atmospheric carbon levels and in so doing, help to preserve our precious planet.
These are common succulent plants in parts of the Karoo and the subtropical bushveld areas of Southern Africa. Pork bushes grow into large shrubs or small trees and are an important fodder crop for goats and wildlife. They have thick, fleshy stems and branches with brown or red bark. This contrasts strongly with the small, bright green, fleshy leaves with a waxy texture. Small pink or purple flowers appear periodically. Many different forms are cultivated for gardens. Some have cascading growth habits with tiny leaves others have golden or variegated foliage. This ensures that pork bushes can be used for a vast array of garden applications. Drought and heat tolerant but they’re frost sensitive.
Where to plant or grow pork bushes?
– In the succulent garden
– Good for hedges in dry climates
– In pots or containers, either as a single plant or in mixed plantings
– As an indoor plant in bright light conditions
– In indigenous gardens
– In hot, dry places where not much else grows
– In dry shade
– Pendulous forms good for hanging baskets
– Make good bonsai speciemens
Leaves can be eaten, have a sour tart flavour.