Rapanea melanophloeos

Rapanea melanophloeos


Common Names

Cape Beech (english)
Boekenhout, Beukehout (afrikaans)
Tshikonwa (venda)
IsiCalabi, umaPhipha, iKhubalwane, isiQalaba sehlati (zulu)
isiQwane sehlati (xhosa)
iGcolo, udzilidzili (swazi)


Genus Rapanea
Species melanophloeos
SA Plant Number 578
Basionym Rapanea melanophloeos


Rapanea melanophloes is a hardy, small to medium sized, evergreen tree with dark leaves that have a purplish cast to them. It also has really attractive bark.

The small greenish-white flowers from May to July attract insects and bees. These are followed by small purple fruits that are borne in profusion close to the stems which attract fruit eating birds.

A good garden subject and a useful addition to screen planting with its unusual colour foliage. The wood is used for making furniture and violins and has many magical and medicinal uses.

Size 4 to 10m


Wildlife garden plant:

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



Used for making furniture and violins


Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal,  Eastern Cape, Western Cape Natural Habitat:

Along rivers and streams, Evergreen Forest, Forested Ravines



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