Plant of the month for January 2024: elephant bush

The flowers of some of the elephant bush varieties are small and pink though they rarely occur in cultivation. (courtesy photo/ Kim & Forest Starr)

Elephant bush grows well in pots either indoors or out. (Courtesy photo/ Diana Duff)

On a recent visit to a friend in Kohala Ranch, we talked about installing some fire-resistant plant species. A friend of hers had recommended elephant bush (Portulacaria afra), known in the Afrikaans language as spekboom in its native South Africa. Her friend, Bernard Moret, had written about his experience with this plant for the Kohala Ranch Report and gave me permission use his story here.