Fockea edulis - 5 seeds

Fockea edulis - 5 seeds

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Fockea edulis is native to South Africa and southern Africa. Unusual for members of the asclepidaceae, or milkweed family, this species has the reputation of being edible (as indicated by its name “edulis”)

Fockea edulis is one of  the more unusual and distinctive species of the Asclepidaceae, or the milkweed family, noted for its huge underground caudexes which can ultimately grow in excess of 21 inches in diameter, and tip the scales at over 100 lbs.

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Fockea edulis is best propagated from seed. Cuttings will give limited success.

This species is of easy cultivation and hardy.  Although it shows decreased activity in the January – April period, it never goes into complete dormancy and always carries some leaves.   Conversely it can be deciduous in winter if kept cold and dry.  The plant will take regular water and fertilizer in summer.  Rot prone in winter;  keep on the dry side and water only enough to keep the tuber from shriveling.  It grows well in most soils, and only requires  very fast drainage. Hardy to -2°C, it will take some frost for a short period of time.  Plants grownoutdoors may endure relatively wet, cold rainy winters.  It prefers sun or light shade, but the tuber should stay constantly in the shade.
It is a vigorous twiner and is best trained around a hoop or up a framework, but tends to vine around nearby plants if kept in a pot on a shelf, so it needs to be controlled a bit... give it something to wind around to keep it away from the other plants.  The fockeas are pest free outdoors, but may attract whiteflies if kept in humid greenhouse environments, and some kind of control might be needed.  Reliable as a permanent collector's plant.