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Fockea edulis

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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.

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.

The normal size in trade.

Author: Karl Moritz Schumann, 1895
Origin:  Southern South Africa
Soil:  Mix - Grit
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Medium - Maximum
Thickness:  60 Centimetres
Height:  4 Meters
Flower:  White
Propagate:  Seeds/Cuttings
Names:  -
Synonyms:  Brachystelma macrorrhizum, E.Mey.
Chymocormus edulis, Harv.
Echites edulis, Thunb.
Fockea cylindrica, R.A.Dyer.
Fockea glabra,, Decne.
Pergularia edulis, Thunb.

This member of the Asclepiadaceae* family is found 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 cuttings.

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 quite 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 two plants back to Denmark: One for me and one for Copenhagen Botanical Garden.

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.

The genera name after Charles Focke, 1802-1856, a Dutch botanist, collecting especially in Surinam. The species name means 'eatable', but it is an acquired taste!

*)Accordantly to the latest taxonomic system; APG IV 2016, Asclepiadaceae is now part of the Apocynaceae.

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.

An other rescued beauty from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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.