Indigenous Nursery News Blog

Recommended Indigenous Trees for Pools - Part Five

In this article, Random Harvest Indigenous Plant Nursery presents a selection of exquisite indigenous trees ideally suited for pool areas. This piece is the fifth installment in a series of articles dedicated to the art of pool landscaping.

Pappea capensis - indigenous plant nursery

Pappea capensis

Jacket Plum (E); Doppruim (A); tshikavhavhe (V) umqhokwane (Z)

Hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped tree that attracts birds and insects.

The edges of the leaves are wavy and the spring colours are very pretty. Scented flowers are borne from Sept. to March.

This plant is interesting as it sometimes bears only male or female flowers and sometimes bears male and female on the same tree.

The seed capsules are green maturing to brown and split to reveal a seed covered with a delicious red jelly that can be used to make preserves. Fragrant oil extracted from the seeds, leaves and bark is used medicinally.

Size: 3 to 7m

S.A. No. 433

The leaves are quite leathery but the berries are delicious and you may want to plant this beautiful tree and cope with leaves. Especially do not let the crown hang over the pool. Plant it about 4 - 5 m from the pool.

Pavetta lanceolata - indigenous plant nursery

Pavetta lanceolata

Forest Brides Bush (e), Treurbruidsbos (a), umDleza (z), Tshituku (v)

Hardy, small, evergreen shrub or small tree with spectacular, large clusters of white, pincushion-like flowers from Nov. to Jan.

They are strongly scented and pollinated by moths. The plant bears so many flowers that you cannot see the leaves and an added benefit is that butterflies are irresistibly drawn to them.

They are followed by small, black berries that attract birds to the garden. A beautiful plant for sun or semi-shade.

Size: up to 3m

S.A. No. 718.1

This is a perfect tree if you only have a small space. I think everyone should make a small space in their gardens for a Pavetta.

Pittosporum Viridiflorum - indigenous plant nursery

Pittosporum viridiflorum

Cheesewood (E); Kasuur (A); mulondwane (V) umfusamvu (Z)

Hardy, evergreen, medium-sized, well-shaped tree with glossy leaves that have a resinous smell when crushed.

The dense clusters of sweetly scented, cream flowers are borne from Sept. to Nov. and are followed by brilliant red, sticky fruit that attract birds.

A beautiful garden tree, which can be grown in sun or semi-shade, and can be used in forest and bush clumps as well as being used as a hedge plant.

Size: 3 to 10m
in Gauteng up to 5m

S.A. No. 139

The leaves are a little leathery but they do not drop excessively.

Podocarpus Elongatus - Indigenous plant nursery

Podocarpus elongatus

Breede River Yellowwood (E), Breêeriviergeelhout (A)

This is the smallest of the Yellowwood trees and is very hardy, evergreen and has attractive narrow, grey-green leaves.

The female cones develop into a fleshy, bright red, edible fruit with 1 or 2 seeds that mature rapidly.

A beautiful tree ideal for a small garden. Plant in shade or semi-shade and well-drained soil. Makes an excellent container plant.

Size: 3 to 6m
in Gauteng up to 3m

S.A. No. 15

This is a small yellowwood which is ideal for a pool area. If you wish to have one of the other species plant them in a container that will limit the size they grow up to and create a beautiful feature in the pool area.

Pteroxylon obliquum - indigenous plant nursery

Pteroxylon obliquum

Sneezewood (E) Nieshout (A); munari (V); Bhaqa (Z); Tati (SS)

This hardy, drought resistant, large, fairly fast growing evergreen or deciduous tree (depending on the conditions) has glossy dark green leaves with asymmetrical bases.

In autumn they turn a glowing yellow and are very decorative. It has abundant, sweetly scented, white to pale yellow hanging bunches of flowers from Aug. to Dec. (male and female flowers on separate trees, therefore only female plants bear fruit).

This very decorative, good shade tree attracts Swallowtail butterflies and is an excellent garden subject.

The wood of this tree was used to make railway sleepers and thus most of the really big specimens have disappeared. Sawdust and pieces of wood can be used as an insect repellent.

Size: 7 to 20m

S.A. No. 292

This should only be used in big gardens and kept 5m or more from the pool.

Rapanea melanophloes - indigenous plant nursery

Rapanea melanophloes

Cape Beech (E), Boekenhout (A), isiCalabi (Z)

Hardy, medium-sized, evergreen tree with dark leaves that have a purplish cast to them. The small greenish-white flowers (from May to July) attract insects and are followed by small purple fruits borne in profusion close to the stems.

The fruit attracts birds. A good garden subject planted as a specimen and a useful addition to screen planting with its unusual colour foliage.

It has a non-aggressive root system. The wood is used for making furniture and violins and has many magical and medicinal uses.

Size: 4 to 10m
Size in Gauteng 3 to 5m

S.A. No. 578

The leaves are leathery but it is not a messy tree, so it can be planted about 2 - 3m from the pool.

Rothmannia capensis - indigenous plant nursery

Rothmannia capensis

Scented-bells (E); Witklokke (A); Muratha-Mapfene (V); morutla (Tsw); isiqathankobe (Z); iBolo (X)

Hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree that occurs in forest and on rocky hillsides. It has dark leathery leaves. Its most outstanding feature is its large, scented, bell-like white flowers with maroon streaks in the throat from Dec. to Feb.

They are followed by rounded, ribbed, leathery fruit. Although a little slow growing this well-shaped, very decorative tree is a worthwhile addition to any garden.

Plant in well-composted, well-drained soil in sun or shade. Keep moist and feed occasionally with Hydrangea food. It has non-aggressive roots. Fruit is used medicinally

Size: 4 to 10m

S.A. No. 693

Another beautiful local tree. It is quite slow growing so patience is a necessity but the end result is well worth the wait.

Senna petersiana - indigenous plant nursery

Senna petersiana

Monkey Pod (E), Apiespeul (A), umNembenembe (Z), Iujoyi (Sw), Nembenembe (Tso) Munembenembe (V)

Fairly hardy, medium-sized, deciduous shrub or small tree with fine feathery dark green foliage that has dark undersides. Large loose sprays of sweetly scented, yellow flowers are borne from Feb. to Apr. and it unusually also puts on new leaves at the same time.

The long dark brown or black pods are segmented and hang down from the shrub. Host to the Cabbage White Butterfly. The pods are edible and it is used extensively for medicinal purposes.

Size: 1.5 to 4m

SA No. 213

A beautiful flowering tree with thinly textured flowers. The pods are a bit large but persist on the tree and can be pruned off easily.

Vepris lanceolata - indigenous plant nursery

Vepris lanceolata

White Ironwood (E); Witysterhout (A); muhondwa (V); umozane (Z); Motane (S); uMozane (X)

Hardy, evergreen, very attractive tree with apple green foliage. It blooms with a myriad of small, white flowers from Dec. to Jan., which give the tree a lacy look.

The black berries ripen throughout the autumn and winter and are an important source of food for the birds. The tree is host to the Citrus Swallowtail butterfly.

A beautifully shaped tree and a very good garden subject that can be used as a screen or container plant for outdoors or indoors. The non-aggressive root system makes it ideal for a small garden.

Size: 5 to 10m
Size in Gauteng up to 8m

S.A. No. 261

One of our most beautiful indigenous trees. Do not plant in an excessively hot part of the garden. It can grow quite large and should be kept about 5m from the pool.


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