isiXhosa: iGqwanitsha

Afrikaans: Spekboom

Elephants Food


Elephants Food

Portulacaria afra

Scientific name

It is a soft-wooded, semi-evergreen upright shrub or small tree, usually 2.5-4.5 metres (8-15 ft) tall. 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 mm). It is much hardier, faster growing, more loosely branched, and has more limber tapering branches than Crassula once established.[1]

Within the genus Portulacaria, it has been shown to be an outlier, relatively unrelated to the other species in the genus, which are all restricted to small ranges in the arid far west of southern Africa.[2]

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

We currently have no seeds of this species in our seedbanks. Do you have any seeds or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!
Nursery Quantity
KimZee Nursery 3
Total 3

Can you help grow this species?

We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!

I can help!

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value

It can be used as a construction material

Communitree Newsletter

Receive our monthly updates in your mailbox

Our sponsors

We thank our 2019 sponsors for their support in our work. If your company or organisation wants to help support Communitree, click here to get in touch.