Once a very popular plant from South Africa that could be found in almost every houseplant collection and a plant that brings back many memories for me from my childhood days, I think it was one of the first houseplants I ever grew. The soft, fern like foliage usually grows almost horizontally on tall, tough, green creeping stems that often have surprisingly thorny spurs. The spurs on the stem are used by the plant to cling to other plants and surfaces as it creeps it’s away along or upwards.
The gorgeous soft feathery foliage is made of cladodes which are not true leaves but flattened stems and looks very fern like although it is not a fern or fern relative. Very easy to grow indoors requiring a loam based, well drained compost, moderate watering (reducing watering down in winter) and a light area out of direct sunlight. It is also tolerant of low temperature so suitable for cooler rooms.
It is also proving to often be quite root hardy in UK zone 9 gardens if given a thick winter mulch and a free draining soil. The foliage will get cut back by a heavy frost but new stems usually re-shoot from the tubers in late spring. If growing outside plant in shaded areas out of direct sunlight. Small white flowers can appear in summer and are followed by deep purple berries.
Sent as young plant in a 9cm pot. Our plants are propagated from cold hardy stock and sent as dormant plants in winter.
Additional photos By Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6169811