General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: Up to 8 - 15 feet
Plant Spread: Up to 4 - 6 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Small pink dry berry-like fruits, each containing a single seed.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Fire Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Common names
  • Elephant Bush
  • Elephant Food
  • Spekboom
  • Miniature Jade
  • Porkbush

Photo Gallery
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-08-23
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-07-11
Pollinator at work
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-07-11
Location: Louisville
Date: 2020-03-27
Location: Southern California
Date: June 2014
Location: Archer, Florida
Date: 2019-05-02
Elephant Bush "Upright Style"
Uploaded by Hamwild
Location: Baja California
Date: 2021-07-22
Location: Tillage, Austin, Texas
Date: 2022-04-06
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-07-11
Location: Tampa, FL
Date: 2023-08-11
Location: Portland Nursery, Portland Or.
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Baja California
Date: 2021-07-12
Location: Sebastian,  Florida
Date: 2019-03-31
Location: Home
Date: 2016-09-16
Location: Baja California
Date: 2018-06-28
Location: Patio
Date: 2018-03-23
Such an easy and carefree plant...and it is a beautiful green!
Location: Balboa Park, San Diego, Ca.
Date: 2015-01-12
Location: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Date: April 6 2022
Location: Sebastian, Florida
Date: 2017-06-17
Location: Sebastian,  Florida
Date: 2019-11-19
Location: Opp, AL  Z8b
Date: 2013-01-10
Location: Baja California
Date: 2016-10-06
Location: Sebastian, Florida
Date: 2017-02-01
Uploaded by Mefforde
Uploaded by zielonykaktus
Location: AZ
Date: Spring
This one is easy to root and many plants can be made from one.
Location: Florida

Date: 2017-09-19

Date: 2017-09-19
Location: Balboa Park, San Diego, Ca.
Date: 2015-01-12
Location: NYBG 
Date: June 14 22

Date: 2013-02-28
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2010-03-11
Location: English Gardens, West Bloomfield, MI
Date: 2010-03-11
Uploaded by Hamwild
Location: Botanical Garden Berlin
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2012-09-10
Location: AZ
Date: Spring
This is very hardy in zone 9a it can be in a pot or in the ground
Location: Home
Date: 2016-09-16
Location: Home
Date: 2016-09-16
Location: Home
Location: In our garden - San Joaquin County, CA
Date: 2016-10-26 - Fall Season
our elephant bush

 Photo Courtesy of Mountain Crest Gardens. Used with permission.
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2015-02-18

Date: 2012-05-28
Location: Home

Date: 2013-02-23

Date: 2013-02-23

Date: 2015-01-07
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Date: 2012-09-10

Date: 2014-02-03

Date: 2014-02-03
Location: Southwest Florida
Date: September 2012
Location: KALAMA WA
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: At our garden - Tracy, CA
Date: 2011-10-17

photo by Forest & Kim Starr (USGS)
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on May 25, 2019 1:17 PM concerning plant:
    Large, leafy succulent shrub from South Africa which is relatively common in cultivation, second only to the jade (Crassula ovata) in this category. The common name elephant bush refers to the fact that it's consumed by elephants in Africa. Incredibly easy to propagate from cuttings of different sizes (sometimes by accident from prunings). A member of the Didiereaceae.

    Relatively popular as a bonsai subject. Large, gnarly, fat-stemmed plants in small pots (especially bonsai pots) were most likely grown to size in larger pots or the ground and then cut and rooted for display. Long lived and growth limited in smaller containers.

    This plant is quite drought tolerant and easily shaped by pruning, often used for hedges in dry climates. Left unchecked it will grow to be a large, multibranched shrub in just a few years. Provide strong light for the strongest, most compact form.

    Tiny pink flowers appear at the ends of stems in early summer. Young plants do not flower and even older plants may vary quite a bit from year to year in this respect.
Plant Events from our members
lemonFresh On July 30, 2018 Obtained plant
carlissa904 On May 2, 2019 Obtained plant
Bought 2 plants from Home Depot, listed as Elephant Bush "Upright Style"
WKGarden On July 7, 2019 Cuttings stuck
WKGarden On June 21, 2019 Cuttings took
Took a cutting from my mother's plant.
Macrocentra On January 13, 2021 Maintenance performed
Heavy pruning. Cut back all branches to around 1" length off the main stem.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Your Elephant Bush by Peggy8b Oct 18, 2019 3:47 PM 1

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