The Portulacaria afra (elephant bush) cactus is a succulent bush with thick grey or brownish stems and fat, juicy, bright green leaves.

It has the appearance of a sparse, small-leafed jade plant. Elephants eat it; it can get six feet tall indoors if you do not have many elephants around.

Give it bright light, heavy soil with excellent drainage, cool night temperatures and good air circulation. Drench and let dry -- it will tolerate almost everything except overwatering. If you underwater, the leaves will shrivel but will plump up again if you water before they drop off the plant.

Cactus Image Gallery

The elephant bush (portulacaria afra) cactus is a succulent bush with thick grey or brownish stems and plump green leaves.
Portulacaria afra. See more pictures of cacti.

There are also varieties with mottled or variegated leaves -- some yellow, some pink and some with very small green leaves. The small-leafed and variegated varieties are slower growing and appreciate having more attention. They can be pruned to a decorative bonsai style with the appearance of great age.

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Caring for your cactus: