Searsia (=Rhus) lancea is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with a graceful, weeping form. The dark, fissured bark contrasts beautifully with the long, thin, bright, trifoliate leaves.
The inconspicuous yellow-green flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) from June to September attract insects and are followed by bunches of edible fruit that attract birds. The small flowers are borne in abundance and give the tree a lacy look when in bloom.
An excellent garden subject that thrives in clay soils and is fast growing if watered regularly. Having said that it is also drought hardy. Extremely popular street tree and a good avenue tree. Makes a great climbing tree for children if the lower branches are not pruned off.
Plant in sun or semi-shade in virtually any soil type.
Size up to 8m
Searsia (=Rhus) leptodictya is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant, small, decorative tree with a drooping crown of bright green foliage. The bark on young stems is reddish brown, becoming darker and rougher as the tree matures. The lovely reddish wood is used to make beautiful small pieces of furniture.
The inconspicuous flowers (male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants bear fruit) are borne from January to April. These are followed by bunches of edible fruit which attract birds to the garden.
It grows in most soil types and makes a beautiful, graceful tree that is ideal for a small garden in sun or semi-shade. It is also beautiful as a small avenue tree.
A valuable fodder tree especially in times of drought.
Size 3 to 4m
Seasia (=Rhus) pyroides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant tree that tolerates extreme conditions of drought and cold and makes a wonderful pioneer. Depending on how harsh the conditions are it can grow anything from 1m in very dry cold conditions and up to 6m in more temperate conditions.
Large, stout, woody thorns are borne along the stems which make this a good addition to a security hedge. The bark on mature stems is dark brown. It has attractive, velvety, light grey-green, trifoliate leaves that turn a lovely shade of yellow in autumn.
The inconspicuous sprays of tiny white flowers are borne from August to March, and attract insects and birds. These are followed by a profusion of large attractive bunches of edible fruit that turn reddish brown. They are so heavy that they make the tips of the thin branchlets droop, giving the female plants a ‘weeping’ shape when in fruit.
Only female plants bear fruit as male and female flowers are on separate plants. The profusion of fruit attracts birds to the garden. In fact, I battle to collect seeds on the many specimens on the farm as the birds seem to beat me to them most of the time.
It is the host plant to the Foxtrot Copper butterfly. In natural areas elephant, impala and kudu browse on the tree. For cattle farmers, it makes a useful fodder tree.
Plant in sun or semi-shade.
Size: 2 to 6m
Podocarpus latifolius is a very hardy, evergreen, large, beautifully-shaped tree. It is slow growing, but makes an outstanding shade or specimen tree for bigger gardens. The yellowish to greyish-brown bark flakes off in thin, vertical strips. It has beautiful dark-green leaves that are carried more or less horizontally.
The sweet, edible, fleshy, reddish-purple, female cones carry 1 or 2 seeds that ripen from green to pink to red during December and February.
Calodendrum capense is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree.