Also known as
Bergbaroe, Kambro (Afr.)
Photo by Going.Local (All rights reserved)
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Kambroo
Fockea edulis is one of 6 species of Fockea (with numerous synonyms) found in tropical, Eastern and Southern Africa. This interesting plant has a swollen, sometimes warty, tuber, which in its natural habitat grows partially or completely underground. Its thin vining branches climb up unto any support given, including surrounding plants. It is native to Namibia and the drier areas of South Africa(Nothern and Western Cape) and grows naturally in dry savannah and rockery. When kept dry, it will enter dormancy, losing all its leaves during the winter season. The Kambro is easy to grow, hardy and grows well in moist soils with excellent drainage. Ideally, the tuber must be kept in shade, but it will tolerate some light sun exposure. It is able to endure short periods of frost and is hardy to -2 degrees Celsius. The stems readily exude a milky latex when bruised, said to be poisonous. This beautiful plant produces male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious). Flowers are white-green in colour, slightly scented and pollinated by fruit flies. This plant may sometimes be referred to as "Hottentot", an offensive term that was historically used to refer to the Khoikhoi, a member of a group of indigenous peoples of South Africa and Namibia. We do not support the usage of such a term.
Common problems with Kambroo
Susceptible to greenfly while flowering.
How to harvest Kambroo
Generally not harvested
How to propagate Kambroo
Sow seed as soon as ripe. Plants are dioecious so one of each sex is needed to obtain seeds.
Special features of Kambroo
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.
Other uses of Kambroo
Tubers of several species are edible and eaten (roasted) despite the latex, which flows in copious amounts from broken roots. Cooking is reported to inactivate the latex.