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Kambroo

Fockea edulis

There are 6 species of Fockea, (with numerous synonyms) found in tropical, Eastern and Southern Africa. They have swollen, sometimes warty, tubers, which in their habitat grow underground, and branching stems with opposite leaves. The stems readily exude a milky latex when bruised, said to be poisonous. The Kambro or Fockea edilus have an edible root, which is sweet and bread-like.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Seed
Sow seed as soon as ripe. Plants are dioecious so one of each sex is needed to obtain seeds.

Special features

Pot plant
Use a gritty compost with some humus as planting medium, plant the tubers on the surface of the compost, provide supports for vegetative growth to twine around.

Geography

Origin
Africa, South Africa and Namib
Natural climate
Hot and dry

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Tubers of several species are edible and eaten (roasted) by the Hottentots despite the latex, which flows in copious amounts from broken roots. Cooking is reported to inactivate the latex.

Personality

Family
Apocynaceae
Flower colour
Greenish white
Scent
Mild

Problems

Susceptible to greenfly while flowering.

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