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Products > Portulacaria afra 'Cork Bark'
 
Portulacaria afra 'Cork Bark' - Corky Bark Elephant's Food
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Didiereaceae
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Portulacaria afra 'Cork Bark'(Cork Bark Elephant Food) A slow growing succulent shrub with the main trunk having thick fissured corky gray bark from which emerge reddish brown stems holding 1/2 inch long emerald green leaves. The lavender-pink flowers are rarely seen but in recent drought years have been more evident on other cultivars and likely might make their appearance on this one as well. Plant in sun or shade with little or no supplemental irrigation. Should prove hardy to at least 25 F. As with the species, this plant should prove to be a very easy to grow succulent that works as a great bonsai plant or small specimen shrub and the corky bark is an added bonus. fissured, corky bark. This plant is a 2015 introduction through the Huntington Botanic Garden's International Succulent Introduction as ISI 2015-38. It was selected by bonsai specialist Dave Bogan who first noted it in a Florida nursery in the 1960s. Its corky trunk was first thought to be caused by a fungal disease but later recognized as a natural aspect of the plant with bright light and lean conditions seeming to promote the best fissured bark but it should also be noted that this is a slow process, so requires considerable patience. Frank Yee, a Huntington Botanic Garden bonsai specialist friend rooted cuttings to provide for this release and we were fortunate to get a few to start our production on this interesting addition to our succulent offering. For more information on the species see our listing for Portulacaria afra. We also grow Portulacaria afra 'Prostrate Form another prostrate plant but with all green foliage, Portulacaria afra 'Skyscraper' a narrow upright form, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' an upright plant with white variegated leaves, Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla , a large leafed form, Portulacaria afra 'Aurea', a prostrate plant with yellow new growth and Portulacaria afra 'Medio-picta' a stunning low growing plant with pink stems and leaves that have a wide central cream stripe. All are great drought tolerant plants useful in the landscape or as container specimens.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Portulacaria afra 'Cork Bark'.
 
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