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 Fockea edulis


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.

Author:  Karl Moritz Schumann 1895
Family:  Asclepiadaceae*
Habitat:  Southern Africa
Soil:  Mix or grit
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Medium - Maximum
Thickness:  60 centimetres
Height:  4 meters
Flower:  White
Reproduction:  Seeds/Cuttings
Pop names:  -
Synonyms:  Fockea glabra Decne 1844
Got it from:  Port Elizabeth
Year:  2007

What is visible of a 35 centimetre caudex.

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.

An other rescued beauty from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.



This member of the Asclepiadaceae* family grow 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 cutting.

 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 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 one plant back to Denmark.

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.

*This family might been incorporated in the Apocynaceae family now.

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 high.

The normal size in trade.

The flowers are small, between 0,5 to 1,5 cm. It will get green pods.

40 centimetres in diameter, and too big for my window.

Kingdom SubKingdom SuperDivision Division SubDivision Class SubClass SuperOrder Order Family Genus Species
PLANTAE Tracheophyta Spermatophytes Magnoliophyta Magnoliophytina





Apocynaceae Fockea edulis