Bokhoring (Afr.) Overview
Orbeas are leafless, hairless, succulent perennials that form compact to diffuse clumps. They branch from the base and often arise from creeping rootstocks. The stems grow either vertically or horizontally and occasionally exhibit a creeping nature. The four-angled stems are usually prominently sharp-toothed, with a soft tip. They are always mottled purplish maroon on a green background, especially distinct when exposed to the sun. The flowers often have an unpleasant odour, reminiscent of rotting meat, which attracts pollinators such as flies. Common names include Carrion Flower and Toad Cactus. The seed-carrying follicles (fruit) look like two horns, hence another common name for this plant is Bokhoring. Uses: Orbea is mainly of horticultural value and only a few species are used as food, for example the stems of O. lugardii and O. maculata , which are eaten as a vegetable and taste like lettuce. O. namaquensis is also eaten occasionally, but is very bitter.