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. 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. People would need to grow other crops. This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world. Olive Tree Root Systems. The carbon trading system allows heavily polluting businesses to buy carbon credits, while environmentally efficient businesses can sell surplus credits at a profit. In terrestrial plants, the root system is the subterranean or underground part of the plant body while the shoot is the aboveground part. What makes a good street tree? Hectare for hectare, in optimal conditions, Spekboom thicket can be as effective as the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – quite a feat for a plant endemic to semi-arid areas. When soil is sparse, dry or extremely wet, shrubs and trees tend to root deeper. I became interested in it when looking at ways to compensate for my carbon footprint. Also known as ‘Elephant’s Food’ or ‘Spekboom’, it is indigenous to southern Africa. http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=88225). It also … 2010-05 - Root development of the spekboom in plastic bottles (Photo WVC) Peter. View Samara on Google Maps or on what3words.com – our 3 word address is ///rosters.plots.famous. How can Spekboom be used for conservation? 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). Why don’t we offer those rural people, or even the people in cities or towns in the drylands, a chance to grow avocado trees (Persea americana), tomato trees (Cyphomandra betacea), cherimoyas (Annona spp. Don't plant it too close to walls, patios or swimming pools, the root system can sometimes be aggressive. Spekboom are mostly propagated from cuttings or ‘truncheons’ (supersize cuttings), but also from seeds. 4. As Clark mentions below, in our experience you can plant at any time of year. No way, because it suffices to put a disk in the dry soil to see it shooting. Dear Anne, apologies for the delay in getting back to you! 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. Without carbon nothing will stay alive! You can plant cuttings or even single leaves at any time of the year. Some local women eat the leaves to stimulate milk production. Because they don’t have a penetrating root system, the elephant bush doesn’t require much soil. Let someone explain first to us what would be an ‘invasive’ food crop. Invasive species? It is very easy to grow and can tolerate both drought and wetter conditions. Or can we use existing climate-resilient crops in a ‘new’ environment created by the impact of climatic changes on the existing vegetation? Since then, Samara has worked with the University of Stellenbosch and other scientists to develop a Spekboom conservation model that ensures the highest rate of success and plant survival. As a top-heavy plant, you’ll need to worry about supporting the meaty leaves and stems than worry about the roots. Hi! It goes without saying that we all have a huge responsibility to conserve and protect the natural vegetation types everywhere. The Spekboom are succulents, so they are always green.” The root system act to compact soil, reducing erosion. Another benefit of the Spekboom is being edible. Thank you. Great and well contsructed post. It does feel so good to be part of a carbon sequestration movement. With a slightly lemony taste, Spekboom leaves are juicy and full of moisture, making them the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ during a long day’s hiking in the arid Karoo. I don’t get this! Another friend told us… Read more ». Next. I’d like to know about exporting Spekboom to other countries please? I have 50 hectars of grassland and would like to get live back on this land. If you cannot get hold of my brother call me on 083 7081799 We all have to join hands for the sake of our coming generations. This plant grows very easy from both, but single leaves takes more time to grow new leaves. Hi we have added small potted plants to each of our bed and bathrooms in our guesthouse to assist with freshness inside. 4. Regards. Needs a large pot to accommodate a large root system. Yes indeed they do grow very easily and most guests sometimes leave with a plant to take to their homes. Samara Private Game Reserve, Petersburg Road, off the R63 to Pearston, near Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape, 6280, South Africa. Fallen branches reroot quite easily. Appreciate your response. This tree normally attains a height of 1.5 – 2m in a garden setting and has a small non-invasive root system which makes it ideal for poolside planting. In spring, the spekboom produces pink to lilac blossoms with a lot of nectar, which makes it interesting for beekeeping. The recen, Many of you have been asking about the fate of Chi, Nestled at the foot of an amphitheatre of mountain, Tis the season for new life across the veld, from, Quite possibly the best bar in the world. 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. View all posts by Willem Van Cotthem. For a tree to grow healthy and strong it need the necessary conditions and care. Dear all, many thanks for the informative blog. I would like to add my brother-in law to your birthday list, so that a Spekboom can be planted on his birthday. It is perfect for dry areas where it is an excellent fodder plant for stock and game and it has also been used to stabilize erosion dongas/ditches. I live in Noordhoek in the Southern Peninsula. […] Samara Private Game Reserve aspires to rehabilitate the Great Karoo landscape. Comments or questions? they should. Spekboom is known for its incredible carbon-storing capabilities and ; many health benefits. Fortunately, it also grows well in a container, so you don’t need a huge garden to grow it. We do share these very special plants with friends and family in South Africa. We live in Johannesburg and received two kinds of Spekboom from an avid Wildlife Photography expert. Waterings: It is extremely drought tolerant; A deep soaking once a month in the summer will keep the plant looking good. Spekboom is a facultative 'curssulacean acid metabolism' (CAM) plant, or in other terms it may 'change its gears' within the photosynthetic machinery under certain conditions (Zijlemans 2003). Some local farmers restored areas to spekboom during the past 30 years, and scientists have sampled these sites to estimate directly the trajectory of carbon storage. Its amazing ability to soak up CO2 (a great potential for carbon sequestration) is another interesting quality for carbon trading. Spekboom forests can serve as grazing and browsing areas of last resort for wildlife and livestock, even when all else has withered in a drought. Big potential benefits from restoring spekboom thicket ecosystems in South Africa “Spekboom is an amazing plant. Its root system develops extremely well on poor, rocky or sandy slopes, thus preventing soil erosion. I also believe that we should pay more attention (do some rather inexpensive research work) on opportunities to introduce Asian or South American food crops in the African drylands or the other way around. email@example.com. […] http://www.shamwari.com/5-amazing-facts-about-spekboom/ https://www.samara.co.za/blog/five-things-didnt-know-spekboom/ […], […] Then, I read the article about Samara and if you join their mailing list, they will plant a Spekboom for you on your birthday on their farm! You plant today and they live 200 years. In South Africa it is also used for its medicinal properties, e.g. Plant and leave a treasure for the next generation. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! It is one of but a few plants that release oxygen during day and night and as Spekboom creates clean air – it is a fantastic indoor plant; It promotes soil binding flora, which helps prevent erosion. Where can I get spekbome to plant. An aeroponic system is similar to a NFT system in that the roots are mostly suspended in air. If our region is not adapted to olives, oranges, almonds, papayas, bananas etc., why would we hesitate to choose other already existing fruits from other climatic zones? KEEP READING: 7 reasons to grow spekboom in your garden. Best time to transplant is harvest to spring time. Spekboom was meant to be the ultimate symbol of sustainable development, a plant that could fix ecosystems and making farmers bucketloads … It is one of but a few plants that release oxygen during day and night and as Spekboom creates clean air – it is a fantastic indoor plant; It promotes soil binding flora, which helps prevent erosion. I have one of these in my garden, but haven’t had the courage to try eating it yet. Root pruning may only be necessary after two years. Hi, I absolutely love this tree. Indigenous spekboom, also known as elephants food, is a popular container plant. Therefore, highly estimated institutions provide extremely important research grants to encourage such ‘innovative solutions’. 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 found mine at Lowes hardware store in South Carolina. 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. ), my good friends in the Sahelian countries or even in the Sahara desert would be bewildered if they could get a good opportunity to set up such plantations in their drylands. Grown as a living hedge around gardens or fields it makes a good very dense and almost impenetrable fence. With your help, we can rewild one of South Africa’s most spectacular environments. Lodge: +27 (0) 49 940 0059 In the wet, cool months, Spekboom photosynthesises like other plants, opening its stomata during the day to absorb carbon dioxide. Johan Swart from the Spekboom Foundation told Africa Check that he had received this information from Dr Alastair Potts , a botanist at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. "Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is a small leaved succulent plant found mainly in southern Africa. Can these be planted near wall or do their roots cause damage to wall? Can somebody give us a recipe for spekboom jam please ! Popular Cape Town restaurants like the Pot Luck Club use this succulent as accents to their beautifully crafted dishes. Spekboom. Too expensive? studio and root pruned. Hi Anne see you live in Noordhoek I live right on the coast 40 km from PortmElizaveth have you been successful in growing spekboom so close to the coast. Would it become a noxious weed? A good street tree does not have an invasive root system but rather a tap root. Why would we hesitate to send all the seeds of the melons we consume to climate zones where they can grow? It's frost-tender, but unless severely damaged, will bounce back. Spekboom propagates very easily, and a broken-off branch can quickly grow roots and create a whole new plant. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Samara’s volunteers, staff and guests take part in this planting project as a means of offsetting their carbon debts. In the wet, cool months, Spekboom photosynthesises like other plants, opening its stomata during the day to absorb carbon dioxide. I would, however like to know when to transplant my Spekboom that is rootbound. Being the favourite juicy food of elephants, ostriches and cattle, the leaves are eaten by humans too. diabetes treatment. This popular succulent plant is found on rocky slopes in the Karoo scrub and semi-arid landscapes in the eastern parts of South Africa. Being a scientist myself, I have no hard feelings against enormous grants given to research work. Do we need to fear invasive crops? However, although spekboom can, and usually does, grow after such planting, it is a far cry from how such vegetative reproduction (i.e.