Say what!? Yes, you read that correctly. Ring Artisan will plant 5 Spekboom for every item that you purchase.
What is Spekboom though? Scientifically known as Portulacaria afra and more commonly known as Elephant’s food or Pork Bush. Spekboom is an environmental warrior indigenous to South Africa; it is an evergreen plant, which uses two of the three types of photosynthesis to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide, where most plants only use one type of photosynthesis. It has a very advanced system in which it is able to store solar energy during daytime, while simultaneously performing regular photosynthesis, in order to perform photosynthesis at night as well. Spekboom is able to sequester more carbon dioxide per hectare than the Amazon rainforest. It is in fact 10 times more effective in fixing carbon per hectare than any tropical rainforest. (Kirsten, 2019)
Ample research has been carried out on spekboom in the Thicket Biome. It has been found that spekboom can have a net carbon sequester potential between 3.2 t C ha-1 yr-1 (van der Vyver et al., 2013) and 4.2 t C ha-1 yr-1 (Mill & Cowling, 2006). In arid regions of the Baviaanskloof and the broader Eastern Cape, it has been observed that spekboom can, in some cases, have a total carbon accrual between ~71 to 88 t C ha-1 (Powell 2009, Mills 2010). It is believed that carbon accrual can be even higher in less arid regions where spekboom is found in intact Thicket.
Apart from improving the quality of the air that we breathe, spekboom also has many other amazing characteristics:
- It is very high in vitamin C
- It is waterwise
- It is evergreen
- Its flowers are rich in nectar and therefore attracts bees and birds
- It prevents soil erosion as it is excellent at soil-binding
- It is very resilient and can therefore withstand the most severe weather conditions
- It is drought tolerant
- It can live up to 200 years
- It can grow up to 3m high
- It is very high in basic nutrients and is therefore an excellent food source for wildlife
- It can treat dehydration, heat stroke and exhaustion
- Its sap can treat skin ailments, as well as, blisters and sunburn
(Shamwari , 2019)
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