The habitat of Anacampseros papyracea subsp. namaensis lies in southern Namibia and the Richtersveld. The plant grows on quartzite flats and rocky outcrops. Loose pebbles without any vegetative covering as in the photo is often where the plants are seen.
Food shortages are common in this part of the world. Anything remotely suitable will be eaten. This plant earned its reputation as a food item in times immemorial. In one appllication it served to start the fermentation in home beer brewing. Local common names like the Afrikaans moerplantjie (little plant of lees, dregs or precipitate) or kareemoerwortel (Searsia dregs root), reflect this early usage as a yeast.
Some Anacampseros and Avonia plants, the two genera related and names fluctuated between them, were also used to provide yeast for bread baking (Van Wyk, et al, 2000; Williamson, 2010).