Home | Garden Plants | Herbs_and_Spices | Medical plants | Aromatic Plants | Tropical Coast Shores | Site Map | Links

Up

Portulacaria afra Dwarf Jade Plant   Portulacaria
 
Dwarf Jade Plant, Portulacaria-afra
 
Portulacaria afra, also known as Dwarf Jade Plant, Elephant's Food, Elephant Bush, and Spekboom in Afrikaans, is a small-leaved succulent found in South Africa.
Description

It is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen upright shrub or small tree, usually 2.5 to 4.5 or more meters tall. Similar in appearance to the Jade Plant ( Crassula argentea or C. arborea, family Crassulaceae, order Rosales or Saxifragales ), P. afra has smaller and rounder pads and more compact growth (shorter internodal spaces, down to even 1.5 mm). It is much hardier, faster growing, more loosely branched, and has more limber tapering branches than Crassula.
Distribution and Habitat

It is common in the East of South Africa. It is also found in the Karoo of the western Cape.

The Spekboom is found most prolifically within a specific habitat known as Thicket, which locally is often called noorsveld, after the high number of succulent Euphorbia species, which is often called noors plants.
Carbon Sequestration Ability

It is capable of either C3 or CAM carbon fixation, depending on factors such as the season and the age of the leaves. In the wilds of South Africa, large plants do survive the cutting frosts of bitter winters by growing dense enough to provide their own natural cover. Drought tolerant and fire resistant, it will endure desert sun and heat which the jade plant will not.
Cultivation

It is popular as an indoor bonsai and as a hardy xeriscaping plant.

Cuttings root very easily in most potting media.
zone 10a-11

   

 

 mailto:info@tropicalplantbook.com