Environmental Landscape Design Specialist

  Creating Bio-Diverse Indigenous Landscapes and Gardens  


  Nature conservation begins at your own front door

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Portulacaria afra

Plant suitable for use on Bio-Diverse Green Roofs in the Durban Area

Portulacaria afra



Portulacaria afra
is one of a number of plant species which are presently being tested for their suitability to be grown as Green Roof plants in the Durban region that have initially shown good results. They all occur naturally within a radius of 50 km of the Durban city centre
These plants occur naturally in the dry Umgeni River valley in particular around the shores of the Inanda dam where they usually grow in rocky ground in full sun

Growth habit
These plants are medium to large growing evergreen succulent shrubs to small trees growing up to a height of 5 metres. Both the stems as well as the leaves are succulent.  They primarily reproduce vegetatively seeds seldom being produced in particular in the wetter regions..

Decorative value
These plants are extremely decorative feature plants having pale green succulent leaves and a very neat growth habit. They very seldom produce flowers, in fact I have never seen one produce flowers in the Durban area.

Drought resistance
In their natural habitat they are able to withstand very long periods of extreme drought due to their succulent nature. From my experience of growing these plants I have found them to be very drought resistant.

Disease and pest resistance
These plants are generally disease resistant.

Suitability as Green Roof plants
From my many years of experience with these plants and from indications of the plants that are being tested under Green Roof conditions these plants certainly give the impression that they are going to be excellent Green Roof feature plants where much larger plants are able to be grown.

Biodiversity value in the Green Roof landscape
They create robust habitat and protection for other green roof dwellers. They are often fed on by bagworms and also attract large numbers of a very small light green leaf hopper.

Cautions and precautions in the Green Roof application
They have fairly vigorous and extensive root systems so good root protection must be provided to protect the water proof membrane. Under most circumstance they may need to be pruned from time to time.




Ecoman Durban Indigenous Landscape Design Consultant


Bio-Diverse Indigenous Landscaping I design landscapes and gardens that are Bio-Diverse as well as being pleasing to the eye


Landscapes and Gardens that are Nature Friendly


I use my many years of landscape planning and design as well as landscape construction experience coupled to my vast knowledge of the requirements of nature to create habitat suitable for birds, butterflies and other creatures to live and breed in.

I always apply the basic principles of good landscape design to create an aesthetically pleasing garden that at the same time satisfies the living requirements of the target creatures that I would like to attract. My speciality is to attract birds, butterflies and solitary bees. I design and build Bio-Diverse Roof Gardens

So let Ecoman design and create a garden for you that will be a haven for wildlife such as birds, butterflies, frogs and lizards in the number of species comparable to Kruger National Park.


For all of your Green Roof requirements contact Michael Hickman Specialist in Green Roof Technology at +27 82 061 2593 or email at info@ecoman.co.za





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This page was created on 10.10.09
This page was last updated on 20.09.13