Addo News


Spekboom: Eastern Cape Miracle Plant

What is Spekboom?

The Spekboom, also known as Porkbush or Elephant’s Food, is an Eastern Cape miracle plant. You will definitely see some at Chrislin as well as in the nearby Addo Elephant National Park.

The Spekboom is a miracle plant and vital to our ecosystem for a number of reasons. It is a hardy, drought resistant plant that grows in the eastern part of South Africa from the Eastern Cape northwards. Spekboom can regenerate very quickly and can even grow from pieces that fall onto the ground.

According to the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Spekboom has an excellent ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere and use it to create it’s own plant tissue. This is very useful as we need all the help we can get to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, especially as this gas is responsible for global warming. When it comes to removing carbon dioxide from the air, a Spekboom thicket is ten times more effective than the Amazon rainforest.

Spekboom miracle plant hedge in Eastern Cape

What is Spekboom Good For?

Spekboom is edible and has a high nutrition value. It is eaten by all of the herbivorous animals found in Addo Elephant National Park and particularly enjoyed by kudu, black rhinos and elephants. The succulent leaves and stem provide wildlife with water and protein. The plant has an acidic sour taste that decreases in sourness later in the day.

Eastern Cape Miracle Plant Spekboom flowers

This Eastern Cape miracle plant can grow up to four meters tall and produces pretty little pink flowers, especially after heavy rains. These flowers have lots of delicious nectar which attracts lots of insects and birds, who feed on the insects.

See Spekboom at Chrislin during your Stay

We would love to show you the Spekboom plants in the large garden at Chrislin during your stay. It is completely safe to eat so why not try it while you’re here? Contact us to enquire and book.

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