Dovyalis caffra

Dovyalis caffra

Common Names

Kei-Apple (english)
Kei-Appel (afrikaans)
mutunu (venda)
motlhôno (tswana)
umqokolo (zulu)
motlhono (n. sotho)


Genus Dovyalis
Species caffra
SA Plant Number 507
Basionym Dovyalis caffra


Dovyalis caffra is a hardy, evergreen, fast growing, drought resistant, large, shrub or small tree. 

Long spines make it an excellent addition to a security hedge. 

It has small, creamy-green, nectar laden flowers from November to January. 

The edible, plum-like, yellow fruits are rich in vitamin C are refreshing and make a delicious jelly preserve. 

They are also much sought after by birds. 

Plant in sun or semi-shade. Male and female flowers on separate plants, therefore only female plants will bear fruit. 

Size 2 to 5m


Butterfly Host Plant:

The African Leopard Butterfly larvae feed on plants of the genus Dovyalis.

Bird Plant:

The flowers attract insects which attract many insect eating birds. The fruit also attracts frugivorous birds.



Long thorns makes Dovyalis caffra an excellent and popular plant for a security hedge.


The edible fruit makes a delicious, tart jelly, full of vitamin C.


Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape


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