1. It improves the quality of the air we breathe and helps fight climate change

Spekboom (aka Portulacaria afra) is a succulent that helps fight air pollution. It has the ability to ‘sequester’ or capture four to ten tons of carbon per hectare! Essentially, it acts as a carbon sponge, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and turning it into plant matter. Excess carbon in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming, so the more carbon we can remove from the air and return to the ground, the better.

2. Spekboom is a proudly South African plant

Spekboom is indigenous to the Eastern Cape where South African elephants consider the plant a delicacy.

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 3. It’s water wise 

No time to water your garden? Spekboom is a water-wise plant that’s ideal for low-maintenance gardens.  This drought-resistant plant can survive on just 250-350mm of water a year!

4. Suitable for all seasons and weather conditions 

Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism which allows it to adapt to both rainforest-like conditions and semi-arid conditions, making it incredibly adaptable and suited to almost any garden.

5. Even better, Spekboom is easy to grow

Spekboom is easily propagated, which is great news for budget gardeners. Simply cut or break off a piece of a spekboom, let it dry out for one or two days and then stick it in the ground. Give it a little water every few days and you’ll soon have a new spekboom plant of your own. Make sure you don’t give it too much water or it will rot.

6. Spekboom is a really versatile plant

Whether you are looking for a plant that can be turned into a hedge or a bonsai, or used as groundcover or a large bush, spekboom can do it all. It responds well to pruning and grows densely, making it an excellent, hardy screen or hedge. Some varieties grow low to the ground and others reach as high as 2 metres!

7. You can even eat Spekboom

We’re not suggesting you chow down on a plate of spekboom, but it is edible and apparently has a light, citrussy flavour. If you ever find yourself hiking through the Karoo, you can suck on a leaf – they are traditionally used to treat exhaustion and dehydration.

Article: Monique Warner


Image: Bernard Dupont

Die jong blaartjies van die spekboom kan in die somer gebruik word in slaaie saam met tamaties en komkommer. Dit gee ‘n wonderlike tipe suurlemoen smaak aan die dis. Laat-herfs verkleur die blare en moet hulle bietjie gekook word om aan vleis en groentedisse dié kenmerkende smaak te gee. Wat wonderlik is, is dat spekboom enige dis lig en smaaklik maak. Glad nie swaar, of op enige manier onverteerbaar nie. Dis nou winter so ons gebruik dit in ‘n lensiebredie met skaap gemaak. Mens kan die stam sowel as die blare gebruik. Ek het maar gehou by die blaartjies om mee te begin.


Beulagh Lombard

250g Spekboom blare geweek in sout water vir ongeveer 1uur

2uie gekerf

2 Soetrissies

3sterk rissies

4 groen suur appels


Maal boegenoemde in voedselverwerker en voeg 2k water by

Kook tot sag

Voeg dan by

1k asyn

1tl gemmer

1tl braai speserye

2k suiker

2 tl sout

Kook ongeveer 10min Voeg laastens 2k appelkoos konfyt by ….(Ek het makataan chutney bygevoeg) kook 2min en bottel warm.

Contributing Author

Contributing Author

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