Rescued this from the
bulldozers in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.Weight without
soil: 24 kg. Diameter: 37 centimetres. Circumstance 118
centimetres. Gained weight up to 29 kg first year.
What is visible of a 35
Digging up my own plant in Port
Elizabeth, South Africa.
An old riverbed is not the most
easy thing to dig in!
But the reward is great: My
plant, nice and round, 37 centimetres in diameter.
Other plants from my own rescue mission.
The normal size in trade.
||Mix - Grit
Brachystelma macrorrhizum, E.Mey.
Chymocormus edulis, Harv.
Echites edulis, Thunb.
Fockea cylindrica, R.A.Dyer.
Fockea glabra,, Decne.
Pergularia edulis, Thunb.
This member of the Asclepiadaceae*
family is found in southern Africa. It was
given this name
by Karl Moritz
Schumann in 1895. It grows in a well drained soil with some water and some
to lots of sun. The caudex can grow op
to 60 cm in diameter, and the vines reach 4 meters in height. As seen on
the photo below, the small flowers are white. Besides from seeds, it can be reproduced by
My plant originates from
a rescue mission I lead, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 2007.
A huge area was due to be bulldozed and build on, and I managed to
saw quite a few of those magnificent and very old plants. They grow in an old
riverbed, hard as an old gravel road, packed with fist- to head
sized round rocks. Brought two plants back
to Denmark: One for me and one for Copenhagen Botanical Garden.
One of the few caudiciforms with an eatable caudex. At least, that is
what the Hottentots are told to have done in Namibia, and I have heard
South Africans also ate it, when there were a lack of food. I have not been
able to find a recipe yet.
The caudex grows faster, if it is covered with soil. It can't stand frost.
It seems like having two kinds of branches, one tree-like, the other
vines. Especially older plants seems to have really few branches,
compared with their caudex size.
The small seedlings
forms their caudex visible, on top of the soil. After a year or two, it will
expand deeper and deeper, and finally form a huge caudex, starting half an
meter deep. The young plants will survive to be raised, but the
new growth to the caudex will most likely take place under ground.
The genera name after Charles
Focke, 1802-1856, a Dutch botanist, collecting especially in
Surinam. The species name means 'eatable', but it is an acquired
*)Accordantly to the latest taxonomic system; APG IV 2016, Asclepiadaceae is now part of the Apocynaceae.
2008, and it easily reaches the
sealing. Problem being it won't grow down again.
If a branch turns
down, it dies within days.
Almost a meter
An other rescued beauty from Port
Elizabeth, South Africa.
The flowers are small, between 0,5 to 1,5 cm. It will
get green pods.
centimetres in diameter, and too big for my window.