An ec o­war­rior indig enous plant

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POR­TU­LACARIA AFR A ( com­monly known as spekboom or ele­phant’s food) is a has­sle­free in­dige­nous shrub with a hos t of w on­der­ful fea­tures.

As one of it s c om­mon name s in­di­cat es, it is par­tic­u­larly favoured by ele­phants and is f ound ex­ten­sively in the Addo Ele­phant Park, where ele­phants f east on it t o their heart’ s c on­tent.

Sci­en­tists ha ve r ecently disc overed that the spekboom is par­tic­u­larly good at mop­ping up the ex­cess car­bon in our at­mos­phere that con­trib­utes to cli­mat e chang e.

Most plants help to ab­sorb ex­cess car­bon but the spekboom is ex­tra ef­fi­cient at this task. A sin­gle strand of spekboom can ab­sorb as much car­ bon as an en­tire for­est of other de­cid­u­ous trees.

Be­sides it s en vi­ron­men­tal cr eden­tials, spekboom is also an in­cred­i­bly at­trac­tive shrub with small round green leaves and red stems. It pro­duces star­shaped pink flow­ers from late win­ter un­til spring.

The nec­tar of the flow­ers at­tracts many in­sects to the gar­den, which, in turn, at­tract in­sec­tiv­o­rous birds.

It is an in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile gar­den plant which can be planted in rock­eries, on slopes, in gar­den beds, or e ven trimmed int o bon­sai f orm.

No South African g ar­den should be with­out this won­der­ful plant!

— Women24.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Spekboom is an indig enous pl ant that has enor­mous c ar­bon­stor­ing c apa­bil­i­ties.

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