One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A South African shrub with succulent leaves, which is used for fodder during times of drought.
Portulacaria afra, family Portulacaceae
- ‘The more succulent and spiny shrubs such as spekboom and small bitterleaf, which can survive with little moisture and high temperatures, grow inland.’
- ‘However, defoliation during winter has a depressing effect on growth, and so as much resting as possible is advisable in winter, particularly in areas in which spekboom has low vigour.’
- ‘The spekboom gives good cover to the various browsers on the farm.’
- ‘Sweet thorn, wild olive, karee species, spekboom, sneezewood, guarri, milky rope, tree fuchsia and many varieties of succulents, vines and creepers are to be found here in abundance.’
- ‘The thick succulent stems of spekboom readily sprout when a freshly-cut branch is simply inserted into soil.’
Mid 19th century: from Afrikaans, from spek ‘bacon’ + boom ‘tree’.
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