Lannea discolor

Lannea discolor

Common Names

Live-long (english)
Dikbas (afrikaans)
mojwane (tswana)
muvhumbu (venda)
isiganganyane (zulu)

Taxonomy

Family ANACARDIACEAE
Genus Lannea
Species discolor
SA Plant Number 362
Basionym Lannea discolor

Description

Lannea discolor is a fairly hardy, deciduous tree with a lovely, rounded crown. The dark grey bark that cracks into blocks and peels off is an attractive feature of this tree. The bicoloured foliage is green above and grey beneath.

From September to October, the translucent, sweetly-scented creamy-yellow flowers are clustered at the tips of the branchlets and attract insects to the garden. The flowers are borne on the leafless tree which is particularly attractive. These are followed by conspicuous green fruits that turn purple when ripe. The fruits are edible and attract birds and other wildlife.

In nature, this tree is often associated with termite mounds. Used in traditional medicine and the wood is used to make fence posts.

Plant in well-drained soil in a protected position. Will do well in sun or semi-shade.

Size: up to 15m

Wildlife

Termite mounds:

The Live-long is often associated with termite mounds. This association is thought to be due to a concentration of nutrients and clay in the termite mounds, making the soil more fertile than its surrounds.

Birds:

Birds are attracted to the garden by the fruit of this tree.

Uses

Wood:

The wood is used to make fencing posts. The Live-long gets its common name from its readiness to root and start growing from cut branches hammered into the ground as fencing posts.

Medicinal:

Used in traditional medicine.

Distribution

Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga

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