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  • Writer's pictureTHOUGHTBOX

SPEK-tacular Spekboom

They say that saving the world starts at home, ok so the saying doesn't go quite like that but you get the idea.

You don't need to be Greta to save the world - you don't even need to be great. You just need a small little "Spek" of hope and the knowledge that every bit counts - oh and some Spekboom (aka Portulacaria afra).

Super Spek

Spekboom is the mighty little superhero we all need right now - a simple succulent that helps fight air pollution. Yup - It fights climate change... it literally acts as a carbon sponge, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and turning it into plant matter. Hectare for hectare, Spekboom is TEN TIMES more effective than the Amazon rainforest at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, this little miracle plant is a huge move towards a zero-carbon world. The sciency stuff says that this tree of wonder has the ability to absorb the highest amounts of carbon dioxide when compared to any other plant in existence. That's huge!

Sizable Sustenance

Speaking of HUGE - Elephants, the largest land animals on the planet, are among the most expressive of creatures. Through years of research, scientists have found that elephants are capable of complex thought and deep feeling making them highly intelligent - they have the largest brain of any land mammal and three times as many neurons as humans and what's their favourite snack? A scrumptious serving of SPEKBOOM - they've been known to feast up to 200kg of Spekboom per day (That's like 20 000 pieces of sushi) earning it it's other name - The Elephant bush.

Nature Knows Best

The Elephants, Rhinos and other animals of the Karoo might be onto something with this delicacy - So can we can eat it too? Absolutely! It's little succulent leaves contain loads of Vitamin C as well as a number of other minerals, it has a slight citrussy zing so it adds a little zest to a salad and if you ever find yourself wandering through African deserts you can suck on a leaf – they are traditionally used to treat exhaustion and dehydration, and it's leaves can be crushed to provide relief for blisters, from all that walking, and if you REALLY are completely lost in the desert - the stems can be dried and used as thatch for rooves to build a little home.

Africa is not for Sissies

As it's fancy Latin name suggests (Portulacaria afra) it's proudly African - and thrives in the Eastern Cape and arid desert areas of South Africa.

It thrives in poor soils, it tolerates drought, fire and frost and it doesn't need any formal planting, it can be grown by simply breaking off a branch and sticking it in the ground.

Spekboom is definitely not a pansy (but it does have pretty pink flowers when it blooms), It's hardy and tough, it hardly needs any water (because... South Africa) and it's pretty much invincible - (almost invincible - a Spekboom can live up 200 years)

Heal the Planet

From healing a wound to healing the world, this plant is truly SPEK-tacular!

Saving the world starts at home, right there in your garden.

Plant spekboom, give spekboom, share spekboom. Save the world.

Get beautiful meaningful gifts:

Watch the Plant Junkies to learn more about how to propogate succulents:

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