Acokanthera oppositifolia

Acokanthera oppositifolia

Common Names

Bushman's Poison, poison arrow tree (english)
Boesmansgif (afrikaans)
Inhlungunyembe (zulu)
Intlungunyembe (xhosa)


Genus Acokanthera
Species oppositifolia
SA Plant Number 639
Basionym Acokanthera oppositifolia


Acokanthera oppositifolia ia a hardy, evergreen, drought-resistant, medium to large upright, woody, shrub with brown, deeply fissured bark on the old wood. The attractive, hard, dark-green, purple or red-tinged leaves have a sharply-pointed tip.

Clusters of white to pink-tinged, sweetly-scented flowers are borne from June to October, followed by large plum-coloured berry-like fruits which are relished by birds.

All parts of the plant are poisonous, with the possible exception of the ripe fruits. This plant is used medicinally to treat snake and spider bites, intestinal worms and also for aches and colds.

Plant this beautiful shrub in compost-rich soil, in sun, semi-shade or shade, but it does better with some shade.

Size: 2 to 5m


Birds and butterflies:

Attracts birds and butterflies. The large plum coloured berry-like fruits are relished by birds.



Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape

Along rivers and streams, Coastal Scrub, Rocky Outcrops


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