Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

Encyclopedia of Succulents

  Fockea edulis CACTUSPEDIA       

 


This is an easy-to-grow caudiciform plant with interesting fat grey tuber.
 

Description: Semi-deciduous caudiciform plant with interesting fat, twisted roots.
Rottstock (Caudex): Thick grey, up to 30(-60) cm in diameter, with small tubercules on it.  In the wild, the caudex is partially or totally buried.  It tends to grow faster when buried.
Leaves: Green, entire and oblong. It is deciduous, and all foliage will be lost during the winter dormancy period.
Stems:
It looks like it has two kinds of branches, one tree-like, the other vines. The thin vine branches may reach a length of 80cm or more, and climb on any type of available support.
Flowers: Whitish-green, not very showy but lightly scented, 0.6-1.5 cm wide.  Fockeas are dioecious, so a male plant and a female plant are needed to produce seeds. The flowers are pollinated by fruit flies.
Blooming season: Late summer.
Fruits: Grey pods.

Uses: Though the name 'edulis' indicates the plant is edible (It was eaten by the native population of Southern Africa), a long and elaborated cooking procedure is however required to rid the plant of the alkaloids which are present.  [We do not suggest plants for consumption!]

Cultivation: This species is of easy cultivation and hardy.  Although it shows decreased activity in the January April period, it never goes into complete dormancy and always carries some leaves. Conversely it can be deciduous in winter if kept cold and dry.  The plant will take regular water and fertilizer in summer.  Rot prone in winter;  keep on the dry side and water only enough to keep the tuber from shrivelling.  It grows well in most soils, and only requires  very fast drainage. Hardy to -2C, it will take some frost for a short period of time.  Plants grown outdoors may endure relatively wet, cold rainy winters.  It prefers sun or light shade, but the tuber should stay constantly in the shade.
It is a vigorous twiner and is best trained around a hoop or up a framework, but tends to vine around nearby plants if kept in a pot on a shelf, so it needs to be controlled a bit... give it something to wind around to keep it away from the other plants.  The fockeas are pest free outdoors, but may attract whiteflies if kept in humid greenhouse environments, and some kind of control might be needed.  Reliable as a permanent collector's plant.

Propagation: Fockea edulis is best propagated from seed. Cuttings will give limited success.


Photo gallery: Alphabetical listing of Cactus and Succulent pictures published in this site.

Photo gallery FOCKEA

Family: Asclepiadaceae  (Milkweed Family)

Scientific name:  Fockea edulis K. Schum.

Origin:  Origin: Namibia, South Africa (North Cape, Western Cape)

Habitat: Succulent scrub community in warmer drier areas, Dry savannah and rockery.

Conservation status: Listed in CITES appendix 2.

Common Names include: Hottentot bread

Synonyms:  

  • Fockea cylindrica


The flowers of Fockeas are greenish, not very showy but lightly scented  These plants are dioecious, so a male plant and a female plant are needed to produce seeds.

 

 

 


Since it is a vine, it produces thin branches that climb on any type of available supports.  In the wild, the caudex is partially or totally buried.



 

Cactuspedia home | E-mail | Photo gallery | Dictionary | Search 

This old page has been moved! Click the link next on the right to enter the new Enciclopedia of Succulents. We hope you find this new site informative and useful.

Encyclopedia of Succulents