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  for JULY

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Products > Portulacaria afra 'Aurea'
Portulacaria afra 'Aurea' - Yellow Rainbow Bush
Image of Portulacaria afra 'Aurea'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Didiereaceae
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Lavender
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 2-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Portulacaria afra 'Aurea' (Yellow Rainbow Bush, Yellow Elephant Food) - A slow growing sprawling succulent shrub which when young acts more like a groundcover with older stems turning upward to eventually become a 4- to 6-foot-tall shrub. It has attractive reddish-brown stems and pale yellow to light green 1/2-inch-long rounded leaves leaves emerge bright yellow and turn lime green with age. As with the species, this plant should prove to be a very easy to grow succulent that works as a great bonsai plant, hanging basket, a ground cover or small shrub in near frost-free climates. The lavender-pink flowers are rarely seen even on the green leaf forms, so we doubted that this yellow form would ever flower but during one of California's prolonged droughts it has proven us wrong with the pink flowers that really standing out against the yellow foliage!

Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate little if at all. We did not have this plant in the garden during the exceptionally cold Christmas 1990 freeze but it weathered the January 2007 one with 3 nights down to 25 F and feel it should have about the same hardiness Portulacaria afra. For more information on the species see our listing for Portulacaria afra. This plant is stunning in the garden. We originally thought it a groundcover variety but with age forms a sizable upright shrub and with its incredible yellow foliage it really stands out in the garden!

We also grow: Portulacaria afra 'Prostrate Form - a prostrate plant with all green foliage, Portulacaria afra 'Skyscraper' - a narrow upright form, Portulacaria afra 'Cork Bark' - a corky bark form great for bonsai use, Portulacaria afra 'Variegata' - an upright plant with white variegated leaves, Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla - a large leafed form 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. We thank our customer, local Santa Barbara gardener David Johnson, for sharing this plant with us that we have sold since 2011. 

This information about Portulacaria afra 'Aurea' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.