This Plant Is Elephant Food: What I Want To Know About The Plants I Buy

Portulacaria aura 'Variegata' elephant food succulent

Portulacaria aura ‘Variegata’

I’m a sucker for the succulent display at The Home Depot. I always stop to see what’s new for sale while I’m picking up my sheets of drywall and two-by-fours. This week, I found Portulacaria aura ‘Variegata,’ a succulent with tiny leaves on sturdy stems. I thought, “Eh, pretty cute.”

Then I read the rest of the pot label:

“Drought tolerant when established, a form of the South African ‘Elephant Bush,’ a major food source of the native elephant population.”

It’s elephant food. After I read that portion of the label, I pretty much had to have the plant.

I want tags and labels to tell me how to take care of plants, but I also want this kind of information when I buy. Having a collection of stories behind my plants turns my garden into a novel. They’re more than just beautiful. They’re how I connect to nature and the wide world around me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *