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Fockea comaru

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Scientific Name

Fockea comaru N.E.Br.

Synonyms

Brachystelma comaru, Fockea gracilis

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Fockeeae
Genus: Fockea

Origin

Native to South Africa (Eastern Cape and Western Cape).

Description

Fockea comaru is a caudiciform succulent with large tuber and annual thin branches that appear at the beginning of winter. The caudex is variable in shape, grey, or brown and can grow up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter. Branches are erect, decumbent or climbing and grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long. Leaves are gray-green, narrow, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, with margins that are. Flowers have five lance-shaped sepals and five narrow yellow-green to brown-green corolla lobes on a bell-shaped corolla tube. They appear in spring and summer.

The specific epithet "comaru" derives from the Khoisan languages, a unique group of African languages.

Photo by palmbob

How to Grow and Care

Light: These plants prefer partial shade. They can tolerate full sun but need a little sun protection during the hottest part of the day.

Soil: Fast-draining soil mix is the best soil for your Fockea to drain excess water.

Hardiness: Fockea comaru can tolerate temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b.

Watering: During the growing season, from spring to fall, water regularly allowing the soil to dry between waterings. Reduce watering in the winter. Water only enough to prevent the shriveling of the tuber.

Fertilizing: To force tuber growth, feed with high-nitrogen fertilizer with a lower potassium level, only during the growing season.

Propagation: Fockea plants are relatively easy to grow from seeds. They are dioecious, so both male and female plants are needed to produce seeds. Vegetative propagation is difficult to impossible.

Toxicity: Fockeas are known as food plants, but the tuber has milky sap, which is said to be poisonous. Avoid contact with skin or eyes and keep away from children and pets.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Fockea.

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