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Elephants Food

Portulacaria afra

In stock

1 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Desert Adapted

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun; Full Shade



Flower color:

Flower season:




Shaping as required




Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


Spreading groundcover with reddish-brown stems and ½ inch long green or variegated succulent leaves. Can produce tiny pale lavender flowers near the branch tips in summer months but is unlikely in an irrigated landscape. Does well in sun or shade. Very drought tolerant but if you want it to spread it does need irrigation. Can be kept too almost any size with pruning. Native to South Africa where it is said to be a favorite of elephants but is widely browsed by wild and domestic animals. Rabbits don’t seem to especially like it though. Used to help with soil erosion and is described as a carbon sponge.

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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