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Plant Information

Common Name: PORKBUSH
Scientific Name: Portulacaria afra
Alternative Names: Elephant's Foot (Eng), Spekboom (Afr), Intelezi (Zu), Igqwanitsha (Xho)

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Portulacaria afra


  • Perennial
  • Indigenous to South Africa
  • Attractive evergreen succulent shrub/ small tree that can reach 1,5 - 2m in height when planted in the garden
  • Has small round succulent leaves, red stems and bears tiny star-shaped pink flowers in late winter to spring
  • Is found on rocky slopes and dry river valleys
  • Full sun/ semi shade
  • Can tolerate light frost when mature
  • Makes a handsome and hardy bonsai
  • Very attractive in modern triangular pots
  • Has been indicated as a soil binder to prevent soil erosion

Culinary Uses

  • The leaves are edible and have a sour or tart flavor.
  • Put a leaf under your tongue when you are thirsty.

Parts Used

  • Leaves and branches

Other Uses

  • Animal Feed:
  • Extremely drought resistant - good standby for farmers - it is a nourishing plant with a high moisture content.
  • Source of ostrich feed.
  • Backbone to the goat industry.
  • Cattle and goats eat it.
  • Heavily browsed by elephants and game - large buck like kudu.
  • Highly favored by tortoises.
  • Other:
  • Valuable source of paper pulp.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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