A recent study in the Eastern Cape has highlighted the fact that the humble spekboom (or ‘elephant’s food’ as it is also known) has an amazing ability to soak up CO2, equivalent to that of sub-tropical forests. Findings suggest that up to four tons of carbon a year would be captured by each hectare. This is apparently making a lot of people excited about how much it could be worth on the carbon-trading market but I’m excited about how an indigenous South African plant could potentially be so valuable in turning back the tide of global warming. Also, it raises the issue of what uses our other indigenous plants could have, that we have yet to discover.
And I’ve got it in my garden. I currently have five plants, all grown from one cutting I took from my friend Em’s house in Salt Rock. So, if anyone wants some (and lives in Durban), let me know and you can come and break off a branch.