You can plant cuttings or even single leaves at any time of the year. Comments or questions? We do share these very special plants with friends and family in South Africa. After tasting a couple of leaves myself, I agree that more research work in this field could reveal some interesting potentialities of spekboom leaves to become a valuable part of the fresh food (vitamins and mineral elements). But patience is a virtue. If you cannot get hold of my brother call me on 083 7081799 Both grow easily from a cutting. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for one and keep you updated. It suffices to accept that under the new conditions these drought-resistant plants, having a high nutritional value for men or livestock, can be shipped as seeds from elsewhere to become the ‘new’ staple food. This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world. Invasive species? A simple aeroponic system you can build at home. For people in other parts of the world it is interesting to know that the spekboom can tolerate fair amounts of frost. It can be seen in most of the botanical gardens because of its ease of culture. Karen. Thank you. Posted by Happy Scarecrow on February 7, 2020 at 1:04pm in Multiplied an eco warrior. Being a scientist myself, I have no hard feelings against enormous grants given to research work. John Hofmeyr. E-mail me when people leave their comments – somewhere. Absolutely. The benefits are multiple – better-quality soil, ideal conditions for the growth of grasses and other plants, forage for wildlife, and of course climate change mitigation. Also known as Pork Bush or Elephant’s Food, this indigenous evergreen is an environmental miracle worker, with the potential to tackle carbon emissions like no other plant can. Some believe that experimenting with these models, or with genetic modification of existing food crops, ‘will save the time that would have been spent on field trials and help speed up the agricultural research cycle’ (see Jennifer OLSON in the article mentioned above). With your help, we can rewild one of South Africa’s most spectacular environments. Knowing that all these ‘goodies’ are already there, we do not have to wait for the results of years of research work. And planting it in my little garden!! “The Spekboom is one of the most efficient plants for fighting climate change. Q: is there a way to get Spekboom seeds? However, although spekboom can, and usually does, grow after such planting, it is a far cry from how such vegetative reproduction (i.e. There is even a ‘prostrate’ variety of the spekboom, developing its branches not higher than 15 cm above the soil and forming a dense ground cover. Models are already used and still perfected. Do we need to fear invasive crops? I became interested in it when looking at ways to compensate for my carbon footprint. In terrestrial plants, the root system is the subterranean or underground part of the plant body while the shoot is the aboveground part. Would we have to destroy it or eat it? The carbon trading system allows heavily polluting businesses to buy carbon credits, while environmentally efficient businesses can sell surplus credits at a profit. No way, because the spiny prickly pear grows all over that part of the world. Aldo, Is Spekboom available in the United States? Plant and leave a treasure for the next generation. Spekboom. It is my most sincere conviction that Africans can be perfectly happy with food crops now growing in Asia or South-America and vice-versa. Sequestering loads of CO2 AND having a food source sounds like a real win-win-win, If you know of anybody growing spekboom commercially in the USA please put me in contact with him / her / them. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. During drier times, the plant has the ability to open its stomata at night in order to prevent water loss during the heat of the day. Root development of the spekboom on small cuttings Its root system develops extremely well on poor, rocky or sandy slopes, thus preventing soil erosion. Tiny, star-shaped pink flowers can appear … Best regards and thanks. The plant root system constitutes the major part of the plant body, both in terms of function and bulk. He said that the one species was from the Addo Elephant park area and the other from the Waterberg. Because they don’t have a penetrating root system, the elephant bush doesn’t require much soil. There’s no doubt about it, Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra) is a very special plant. Ultimately, Spekboom planting could provide an opportunity for carbon sequestration and job creation on a much larger scale in the province. – Follow these 5 simple steps when you receive your plant –. Consistently pinch back new leaves to keep the shape of the tree. I don’t get this! An aeroponic system is similar to a NFT system in that the roots are mostly suspended in air. Can somebody give us a recipe for spekboom jam please ! Every time I am reading about the fantastic qualities of one or another plant species or a variety, I am dreaming about the possibility to use seeds or parts of that plant to improve the living conditions of all the people who don’t have the chance to profit from this exquisite species. Let me wish you good luck and a greener environment, wherever you live in the drylands or in the cities, where the spekboom could be a precious plant for sidewalk greening or guerilla gardening. The one from the Addo Elephant Park is kind of wild and has a red/pink stem and the one from the Waterberg grows more dense and upright. Let’s start at the roots. I am dedicating a special part of this text and some photos to the ‘spekboom’ or ‘elephant bush’, also called ‘elephant’s food’ and ‘porkbush’ (Portulacaria afra Jacq.). not via seeds) would occur in a natural system. You plant today and they live 200 years. Portulacaria afra (Porkbush) or “Spekboom“ as we all know it , is one of my favourite specimens to work with. ), spekbooms (Portulacaria afra), pitayas or dragonfruits (Hylocereus undatus), …. As the spekboom is not an invasive species, I believe this hardy and adaptable shrub or small tree can be introduced in many arid and semi-arid countries without displacing natural biomes. I have 50 hectars of grassland and would like to get live back on this land. Being the favourite juicy food of elephants, ostriches and cattle, the leaves are eaten by humans too. I have sent an email to Department of Environment and Conservation,;, and am hopeful that they will reply positively, enabling me to try and grow some Spekboom in Perth, WA.“, 2010-05 : Cuttings of Portulacaria afra are easily rooting in PET-bottles (container gardening) - (Photo WVC) But accepting that research work must go on, I can’t stop dreaming of extremely inexpensive research work to disperse ‘all good things’ that Mother Earth is offering us today. Its branches can be bent. The good news is that we can eat it too. A lot of interesting information on the spekboom and many photos (
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