Author: Luzandri Tesner Have you ever thought about what you could do to change the world? Look around you; you can make a difference in many ways and taking care of, and growing plants is one of them. Often referred to as the climate change wonder plant, the spekboom has the ability to insulate large quantities of carbon. Only 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) remain on this land, cleared away by farmers and overgrazed by livestock and wildlife.
The Spekboom, also known as the Portulacaria Afra, is a vibrant green, small leafed plant with a complementary red stem that can grow up to 5 meters and is indigenous to the Eastern Cape. It has the power to change the world in the following ways: 

  1. Water-Wise and Easy to Grow
    This miracle plant has a lifespan of up to 200 years and only requires 250–350mm of water annually! Spekboom has a photosynthetic mechanism that enables it to adapt to all environmental factors, allowing it to endure harsh conditions like drought and frost. Additionally, it is a fantastic soil-binding plant that stops soil erosion. Because it doesn't require formal planting, it is also one of the simplest plants to grow. Cut off a piece and bury it in the ground in a sunny location. Spekboom is a superb, hardy hedge that grows densely and reacts well to pruning. This plant's blossoms bloom in a lovely pink colour throughout the late winter and early spring. The nectar-rich flowers attract beautiful birds to your garden.

  2. Reduces Carbon Dioxide in The Atmosphere and Fights Air Pollution
    This plant reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide and improves air quality by acting as a carbon sponge. Spekboom can absorb four to ten tonnes of carbon per hectare, and this fantastic tree converts carbon into plant tissue and oxygen. According to the Spekboom Foundation, Spekboom has the same ability as moist, subtropical forests to offset harmful carbon emissions. This extraordinary plant is exceptional in conserving solar energy for photosynthesis at night. A Spekboom thicket is thus ten times more efficient per hectare at fixing carbon than any tropical rainforest.

  3. Healing Properties
    The Spekboom is packed with nutrients, particularly Vitamin C, and can be used for the following:
    • It can treat heatstroke, dehydration, exhaustion, and thirst.
    • Blisters can also be soothed by making use of crushed leaves.
    • Chewing on the leaves can treat a sore throat and mouth infection.
    • Skin conditions like sunburn, insect stings, rashes, and acne can also be treated by juicing this miracle plant and applying it to the problem area.
    • Breastfeeding mothers can also consume Spekboom leaves to increase their milk production.
Since Christmas is around the corner, you can change the world by giving the gift of health and clean air in a beautiful soil-filled pot by gifting a loved one with a spek boom. This plant can be easily propagated by placing a stem in the ground in a sunny area; you will save time and money on a thoughtful, life-changing gift.