Fockea edulis - 5 seeds

Fockea edulis - 5 seeds

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A semi-deciduous perennial caudiciform with fat, twisted grey roots. In the wild, the caudex is partially or totally buried and tends to grow faster this way, reaching up to 60 cm in diameter. The thin vine branches may reach a length of up to 4 meters, and climb on any type of available support. The leaves are green, entire and oblong. Fockeas are dioecious, so a male plant and a female plant are needed to produce seeds. The flowers are whitish-green, not very showy but lightly scented, small (0.6-1.5 cm wide) vygie-like flowers surrounded by a large, thick, spider-like calyx. The flowers are pollinated by fruit flies. The plant produces grey-greenish seed pods.

A common name is Hottentot bread due to the milky, somewhat sweetish flavor of the edible root which is sometimes gathered from the wild for local use. The plant's latex is said to be poisonous. In Afrikaans the plant is called bergbaroe, bergkambroo, kambaroo, kambroo, kambro, or hotnotswaatlemoen. In Khoi it is called !Koo, !Ku, or !Kuu