Portulacaria afra is a hardy, evergreen, neatly shaped, small tree or shrub with pretty round, succulent leaves and ruby red branches.
The leaves have a pleasant acid flavour and can be used in salads.
From October to January, after rain, it is covered in clear pink to rosy mauve, nectar rich flowers - a wonderful sight. The papery 3-winged ornamental fruits resemble pinkish lanterns.
Plant in well-drained soil in sun or shade.
Useful for binding soil. It makes a lovely container plant and bonsai subject. Use it to create an attractive clipped hedge.
Attracts bees, which make a tasty honey from the nectar of the flowers. Makes an excellent fodder plant. You could call it our planets little helper as it is a ‘carbon sink’, one of the best trees for absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
Size 3 to 5m