Strychnos madagascariensis

Strychnos madagascariensis

Common Names

Black Monkey-orange (english)
Swartklapper (afrikaans)
mukwakwa (venda)
mogorwagorwana (tswana)
umkwakwa (zulu)


Genus Strychnos
Species madagascariensis
SA Plant Number 626
Basionym Strychnos madagascariensis


Strychnos madagascariensis is a hardy, deciduous, large shrub or shrubby, multi-stemmed small tree with pale grey bark and quite thick, shiny leaves that are blue-grey-green below.

The small greenish-yellow flowers are borne on the old wood from October to December. These are followed by large (80 to 100mm diameter), spectacular, bluish-grey fruits with a hard, woody shell. These fruits adorn the tree for up to a year before they fall. They will keep for up to 5 years, and during this time, the seed will turn dark brown.

The fruits can be polished and used as decorations. The pulp is edible but the seeds are said to be poisonous. All parts of the plant are utilised by game and cattle.

A good tree for a small garden.

Plant in sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil.

Size: 3 to 6m



All parts of the plant are browsed by game (and cattle)



The pulp is said to be edible but the seeds it surrounds is said to be poisonous


Interesting tree for small gardens


Limpopo, North West Province, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal


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