Noltea africana

Noltea africana


Common Names

Soap Dogwood, Soap Glossy-leaf, Soap Bush (english)
Seepblinkblaar, Seepbos (afrikaans)
Umkhuthuhla, Amaluleka, Iphalode, Umglindi (xhosa)
Umahlahlakwa, Umaluleka (zulu)


Genus Noltea
Species africana
SA Plant Number 453
Basionym Noltea africana


Noltea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, very fast growing, small to medium sized tree.

The glossy leaves are darker above and paler underneath, and have purple petioles. The branchlets are also purplish-red.

The flowers are pretty, small, white sprays borne in the axils of the leaves from August to September. The black seeds are encased in a three-lobed, brown woody capsule that splits to release them when ripe.

A decorative tree that is ideal for the smaller garden but should be kept as a single stem.

Grows well in sun and semi-shade. A good tree to plant for a quick screen.

When twigs and leaves are rubbed in water it becomes soapy.

Size 2 to 6m


Wildlife garden plant:

The flowers attract many pollinating insects and therefore insect-eating birds to the garden.


Twigs and leaves crushed and rubbed in water produce a soapy lather that can be used to wash clothes


Eastern Cape, Western Cape

Natural Habitat:

Along rivers and streams, Forest margin



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