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Noltea africana unripe fruit

Noltea africana

Soap Dogwood (english)
Seepblinkblaar (afrikaans)
Umaluleka (xhosa)


Genus Noltea
Specie africana
SA Plant Number 453
Basionym Noltea africana

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Noltea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, small to medium sized tree.

The glossy leaves are darker above and paler underneath, and have purple petioles. The branchlets are also purplish-red.

The flowers are pretty, small, white sprays borne in the axils of the leaves from August to September. The black seeds are encased in a three-lobed, brown woody capsule that splits to release them when ripe.

A decorative tree that is ideal for the smaller garden but should be kept as a single stem.

Grows well in sun and semi-shade. A good tree to plant for a quick screen.

When twigs and leaves are rubbed in water it becomes soapy.

Size 2 to 6m



Twigs and leaves crushed and rubbed in water produce a soapy lather that can be used to wash clothes


Eastern Cape, Western Cape

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