Syzygium guineense

Syzygium guineense

Common Names

Pale-barked Waterberry (english)
Bleekbaswaterbessie (afrikaans)
ithintane (zulu)

Taxonomy

Family MYRTACEAE
Genus Syzygium
Species guineense
SA Plant Number 557
Basionym Syzygium guineense

Description

Syzygium guineense is a hardy, small to medium sized, fast-growing, very attractive, evergreen tree with a weeping habit, that can be grown in wet areas and even in shallow water. The bark on young trees is silver becoming pale-grey and patched with many different lichens with age. The grey-green leaves are red when they first appear.

The heavily scented white flowers with copious nectar have conspicuous, fluffy stamens and are borne in large heads on the tips of the branches from October to May.

The decorative, edible, shiny, bright-purple fruit are borne in December which turn the tree into a natural Christmas tree. Birds such as bulbuls, starlings, mousebirds and barbets relish the fruit while the fallen fruit is eaten by guinea fowl and francolin. Fruit bats and bush babies also feast on the fruit.

It is the host plant to the Apricot and Brown Playboy Butterflies.

The plant also has many traditional and medicinal uses.

This very variable species can be grown near water as a single specimen or in clumps to create a forest feel.

Plant in sun or semi-shade.

Size up to 10 meters.

Wildlife

Butterflies:

This is the host plant to the Apricot and Brown Playboy Butterflies.

Fruit eating birds, bats and bush babies:

Numerous fruit eating birds relish the fruit, as well as fruit bats and bush babies enjoy the fruit.

Uses

:

Traditional and medicinal uses.

Distribution

Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal

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