Pterocarpus rotundifolius

Pterocarpus rotundifolius

Common Names

Round-leafed Teak (english)
Dopperkiaat (afrikaans)
Modianzovu (tswana)
Muaţaha (venda)
Indlandlovu (zulu)

Taxonomy

Family LEGUMINOSAE
Genus Pterocarpus
Specie rotundifolius
SA Plant Number 237
Basionym Pterocarpus rotundifolius

Description

Pterocarpus rotundifolius is a fairly hardy, decorative, multi-stemmed small to medium sized, deciduous tree that grows naturally in Bushveld and on rocky hillsides. It has a rough bark that peels in strips and a beautiful rounded crown with large compound leaves. The large round leaflets are glossy and darker green on top and paler underneath.

It bears showy sprays of scented, glowing yellow flowers with crinkly petals that decorate the tree on and off from October to February. It is an unforgettable sight when in flower. In dim light the flowers seem to shine. The pods are thin and winged, hanging in clusters from November to July.

The exceptionally beautiful foliage has great potential in dried arrangements as the leaves dry to a rich copper colour.

With its upright form and graceful branching patterns, Pterocarpus makes a wonderful shade tree and garden specimen. As it has a non invasive root system, it can be used in smaller gardens as well as near to pools. It is also much prized by both game and stock farmers as it is valuable fodder and shelter for animals, and beekeepers favour it as a rich source of nectar and pollen for their bees. Farmers also use the wood for general purposes on the farm.

Plant in a sunny position, where it won't be subjected to severe frost. It is a very drought hardy tree.

Size 3 to 9m

Wildlife

Butterfly host plant:
Larvae of the Bushveld Charaxes Butterfly (Charaxes achaemenes achaemenes) feed on the leaves of this tree.

Uses

Distribution

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