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Peltophorum africanum single flower from inflorescence

Peltophorum africanum

African Wattle (english)
Huilboom (afrikaans)
Musese (venda)
Mosêtlha (tswana)
Umsehle (zulu)


Genus Peltophorum
Specie africanum
SA Plant Number 215
Basionym Peltophorum africanum

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Peltophorum africanum is a hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, small to medium-sized tree. The lovely fine, feathery leaves resemble that of Acacia species but the tree is thornless. The leaf and flower buds are brown and hairy adding another dimension to this beautiful tree.

It blooms profusely with large, golden spikes of beautiful, crinkly flowers from October to May that are held well above the leaves and persist on the tree for weeks. A beautiful spectacle to behold. They also attract many insects and birds to the garden. The flowers are followed by clusters of flat brown, dry fruit. They don't split open but the seed is enclosed, appearing as one or two bumps in the pod.

The tree is also the host plant of many butterfly species. Cattle and game browse on the tree and birds are attracted to the nectar

Its rounded shape makes a good shade tree in the smaller garden, and on the street. An excellent garden subject for semi-shade or sunny areas. It has beautiful architecture when leafless.

It has many medicinal uses, and nearly all parts of the plant are used.

Size 4 to 8m


Butterfly host plant:
Larvae of the following butterflies feed on the leaves of the African Wattle: Van Son's charaxes (Charaxes vansonii), Satyr Charaxes (Charaxes ethalion) and Braine's Charaxes (Charaxes brainei)



Limpopo, North West Province, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal


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