Portulacaria afra, better known locally as elephant food, is an attractive and robust succulent shrub or small tree that is planted across the globe and is often used ornamentally as a hardy bonsai. ’Elephant Bush’ is native to South Africa.
The plant has small round succulent leaves and red stems which survive in arid conditions, forms part of elephants', among other animals, diets in Southern Africa and is also used by people for culinary and medicinal purposes. What makes this plant so unique is that it does not only fulfill the various needs of both human and animals but that it also promotes a healthier environment by preventing soil erosion and being an excellent carbon sponge. These plants start out as a small bush and eventually grow tree-like. The stem gets thicker over time as the plant matures. They are considered to be easy to grow and propagate.