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Portulacaria

Portulacaceae Portulacaria Jacq.
 Coll. i. 160. t. 22 (1786).
   Portulacaria is a monotypic genus, and as the name suggests, Portulacaria suggests a similarity to the genus Portulaca.
 
Portulacaria afra   Jacq.
Coll. i. 160. t. 22.
(Crassula portulacaria)
Elephant Bush, Spekboom, Porkbush -
low water requirement full sun exposure




   This African thick stemmed succulent shrub can grow up to 10' tall, but is excellent for bonsai presentation.  New
stems are reddish brown, with green 1/2" round succulent leaves, and the trunk becomes thick and gray with age.  P. afra takes easily from cuttings, and it has profuse light pink flowers, but they are rarely seen in cultivation.  It likes full sun, and tolerates heat and drought, but needs frost protection.
 
Portulacaria afra var. folis variegatis  
Rainbow Bush -
low water requirement part shade exposure



   This variegated member of the Portulacaceae family is native to Mozambique and South Africa and can grow to a 6' to 9' tall shrub.  This variety is less vigorous of a grower than the non-variegated variety, but is still a moderate grower. It has small round glossy green leaves, streaked with yellow and white variegations on reddish segmented branches.
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Portulacaria
Portulacaria page last updated: April 5, 2010.