Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Portulacaria afra
Portulacaria afra

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 8, 9, 12-25, 27, H1, H2
Full SunPartial SunNo Sun
Full, Partial, Shade
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Portulacaria afra

Elephant’s Food
Portulacaceae
Shrubs

Native to South Africa. Can be grown outdoors, but needs protection when frost threatens. Grows to 12 ft. tall and nearly as wide, with thick, juicy stems and glossy green leaves. Looks a bit like jade plant (Crassula ovata) and is sometimes sold under the name “miniature jade plant,” but it’s faster growing and more loosely branched, with tapering, more limber branches and smaller (1/2-in.-long) leaves. In its native land, it bears clusters of tiny pink flowers, but it seldom blooms in North America. In frost-free or nearly frostless areas, it can be used as a fast-growing informal screen or an unclipped hedge. Small specimens are good, easy-care potted plants and can be trained as bonsai.

You Might Also Like...

Citrus, Grapefruit ‘Redblush’ (‘Ruby’, ‘Ruby Red’)

Seedless grapefruit with red tinted flesh. Red internal color fades to pink, then buff.

Casuarina cunninghamiana

Largest and tallest species. Grows to 70 ft. tall, 30 ft. wide. Finest texture, with dark green branch...

Grewia occidentalis

This fast-growing, sprawling South African native can be used in various ways. Unstaked, it grows 6&nd...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement