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Jade leaves.jpg
Portulacaria afra
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Didiereaceae
Subfamily: Portulacarioideae
Genus: Portulacaria

Portulacaria is a genus of succulent plant, classified in its own subfamily Portulacarioideae in the family Didiereaceae. It is indigenous to southern Africa.


The genus was previously placed in the family Portulacaceae, but according to molecular studies is part of Didiereaceae.

It has further been revised when phylogenetic tests showed conclusively that genus Ceraria was located within Portulacaria, and all Ceraria species have consequently been renamed and moved into this genus.[1]


Portulacaria pygmaea (formerly Ceraria pygmaea)

Species include:


Portulacaria afra normally uses C3 (or Hatch-Slack) carbon fixation but is also able to switch to CAM carbon fixation when drought stressed.

It is a local delicacy and its leaves are eaten by the local peoples. It is also popular internationally as a garden plant.[2]


  1. ^ P.Bruyns, M.Oliveira-Neto, G.F. Melo de Pinna, C.Klak: Phylogenetic relationships in the Didiereaceae with special reference to subfamily Portulacarioideae. Taxon 63 (5). October 2014. 1053-1064.
  2. ^ Guralnick, L. J.; Ting, I. P. (1987). "Physiological Changes in Portulacaria afra (L.) Jacq. during a Summer Drought and Rewatering". Plant Physiology. 85 (2): 481–6. doi:10.1104/pp.85.2.481. PMC 1054282Freely accessible. PMID 16665724. 

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