to the genus fockea belong about eleven species of caudiciform plants, originating from the African continent, where they are widespread. They have a large caudex, quite wrinkled, bottle-shaped, with fleshy roots, which in nature generally develops in a subterranean part, the specimens grown in a container are kept with the caudex in the air, to avoid the onset of rot; at the upper extremity the stem is very branched and produces very long climbing branches, which cling to any kind of support; these plants can reach two meters in height with a stem of even 60-70 cm in diameter. The thin branches are covered with small alternate leaves, leathery, dark green, shiny, with a slightly frizzy edge. At the end of summer it produces numerous flowers of creamy white or greenish yellow, delicately scented. The seeds are produced only by female plants. F. capensis has more frizzy leaves than F. edulis.
Some people of Africa consume the large fockea stems, after having cooked them.
place in a sunny position or even in partial shade, with at least 4-5 hours of direct sunlight per day. These plants can withstand temperatures close to zero for short periods, but it is advisable to keep them at a temperature always above 5-6 ° C, therefore in winter they should be kept at home or in a cold greenhouse; with a cold winter climate the plants tend to lose their leaves, which will thrive in the spring.
water regularly from March to October, leaving the soil to dry between one watering and another; during the cold months, water very little, leaving the soil mostly dry. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for succulent plants, every 10-15 days, mixed with the water used for watering.
cultivate fockee in soil rich in humus and sand, or other incoherent material. In choosing the container, large-sized abbastan vessels are preferred, since the root system has a fairly rapid and vigorous development. These plants are climbers, it is therefore appropriate to provide adequate support for the development of long branches.
it happens by seed, in spring; the plants thus obtained have a fairly rapid development, even if the growth of the caudex is slow; It is good to remember that to obtain fruits, and therefore seeds, of fockea, it is necessary to have a female plant and a male plant. It is possible to propagate these plants also by cuttings, using small portions of the thin branches, even if the rooting is not always guaranteed and it is difficult to obtain a plant with caudex.
Fockea edulis: Pests and diseases
the leaves are often attacked by mites and cochineal.