Cyphostemma juttae is an alien-looking deciduous tree with a bulbous stem structure that brings to mind its common namesake – the elephant’s foot. Each spring it sprouts huge serrated leaves that form a tight canopy. At Tula, we love this plant for its dramatic transformation from a thick, bare caudex to a lush subtropical tree in a matter of days. Younger specimens have vibrant, delicate leaves that grow in blue and fleshy as the plant matures.
Cyphostemma juttae is native to brushland forests of Namibia, in southern Africa.
Indoors, these caudex plants prefer lots of sun. At least five hours of direct sun is ideal. A south facing window is great. Outdoors, this plant does best in light shade that protects it from intense, peak afternoon sun. You’ll find this plant in the wild situated beneath the canopy of taller bushes and trees, where it gets tons of dappled, but not harsh, sunlight.
Native to arid and sub-tropical climates, Cyphostemma juttae are drought tolerant plants. That elephant’s foot trunk is actually a caudex, or above-ground reservoir, that helps the plant through dry seasons. Water when the soil dries out in the summer and only infrequently during the winter. Their soil should be allowed to dry out entirely before watering thoroughly.
If the caudex starts to shrivel up, Cyphostemma juttae is thirsty.
The grape-like leaves and fruits of this plant may look delicious, but don’t consume them. They contain high levels of tannins, rendering them toxic to humans and animals. It has been used to poison arrow tips by natives to southern Africa for centuries.Fertilize Fertilization of this plant is generally not necessary. If you want to refresh your soil or give your plant a boost during the growing season, you can feed it monthly with a fertilizer for cacti and succulents. Fertilize only during the summer, when the plant is actively growing.
Approx. 7-8" tall x 3-4" at the widest point. Every plant will vary in size, color and shape.
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