With the heat of summer and extreme drought conditions over large parts of South Africa, we are focusing on hardy trees that will beautify your garden and cope with severe weather patterns.

The porkbush is an attractive succulent plant which is densely branched and leaved.  The compact conformation of the plant makes it ideal for accent planting and containerizing.

Small egg shaped leaves sit on reddish brown branches and tiny star shaped pink flowers may appear from late winter to spring.  The leaves are waxy and a bright tender green and contrasts sharply with the dark branches.  It is very easy to spot the ruddy new growth on this plant because of the colour variation.  This tree, also known as the ‘Small leaf Jade’, is an excellent bonsai tree and provides beautiful hedging.  The porkbush is a truly ‘green’ tree in that it sequestrates carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, acting like a carbon sponge.

This tree normally attains a height of 1.5 – 2m in a garden setting and has a small non-invasive root system which makes it ideal for poolside planting.  It is very easy to grow and can tolerate both drought and wetter conditions.  Also known as ‘Elephant’s Food’ or ‘Spekboom’, it is indigenous to southern Africa.  In rural areas the tree is browsed by wildlife and in addition, the leaves are fit for human consumption and can be used in salads.

Portulacaria afra is a wonderful accent plant that can be utilized as a hedging tree that will continue to thrive under adverse conditions.