Mestoklema tuberosum – Donkey Fig (plant)
Mestoklema tuberosum is native to South Namibia, Little Karoo and Eastern Cape in South Africa. Mesembryanthmum family. A much branched succulent with beautiful coppery flowers.
Rhus lancea dry fruits were once used as an important ingredient of mead or honey beer. The fleshy roots and stems of two mesembs, the donkievygie (Mestoklema tuberosum) and the kareemoervygie (Trichodiadema stellatum) were the source of yeast for brewing this mead. Roots of both Mestoklema and Trichodiadema species have been used in the past for speeding the fermentation of bread, beer, etc. It is presumed they contain either yeast or sugars which increase the rate of fermentation.
Care and Cultivation of Mestoklema tuberosum
Mestoklema tuberosum likes a full sun position and is tolerant of extreme heat and frost. Extremely drought tolerant due to the water storing capacities of the coppery coloured roots. Water regularly in hot weather but the plant dislikes cold wet conditions so keep drier over winter. Makes a beautiful succulent bonsai as the roots can be raised above ground for effect, which is best done after 5-8 years to make sure the roots are of decent size.
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