Sclerocarya birrea

Sclerocarya birrea


Common Names

Marula (english)
Maroela (afrikaans)
Morula (n. sotho)
Morula (tswana)
Mufula (venda)
Umganu (zulu)


Genus Sclerocarya
Species birrea
SA Plant Number 360
Basionym Sclerocarya birrea


Sclerocarya birrea is a fairly hardy, medium to large, deciduous tree with a rounded crown and beautiful mottled bark. It has large compound leaves crowded at the ends of the branches.

It bears inconspicuous red and yellow flowers from September to November. Male and female flowers on separate plants therefore only the females bear fruit.

The delicious, large yellow, edible fruit makes this one of our most valuable food trees. Not only is the fruit edible but the nuts are as well.

All parts of the tree are nutritious and are utilised by wildlife from elephants down to moths and butterflies.

Plant in a protected spot in well-drained soil. A delicious jelly can be made from the fruit.

Size 4 to 13m


Butterfly Host Plant:

The Marula tree is the host plant to a number of butterfly species as well as the beautiful moth (Argema mimosae)

Wildlife plant:

Every part of this tree is utilized by elephants to butterflies.



Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu NatalNatural Habitat:

Medium to low altitude open bush, Medium to low altitude woodland



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