Vangueria infausta

Vangueria infausta

Common Names

wild medlar (english)
wilde mispel (afrikaans)
mpfilwa (tsonga)
mmilo (n. sotho)
muzwilu, mavelo (venda)
umviyo, umtulwa (zulu)
umvilo (xhosa)
umbizo, umviyo (ndebele)
mmilo, mothwany (tswana)
umvile, amantulwane (swazi)

Taxonomy

Family RUBIACEAE
Genus Vangueria
Species infausta
SA Plant Number 702
Basionym Vangueria infausta

Description

Vangueria infausta is a hardy, deciduous, drought-resistant, large shrub or small tree with big, velvety leaves that have prominent veins on the under-surface.

Clusters of small, greenish-white, sweetly-scented flowers are borne from September to November, usually before the leaves appear. The fruit is hard and bright green, ripening to a light brown. It has a floury texture and is full of seeds.

The pulp of the refreshing, nutritious, edible fruits make a good substitute for applesauce when mixed with a little sugar and water. This plant is recognised as one of the traditional health foods of the Northern Sotho people. This South African Wild fruit tree is widely used for medicinal purposes, despite traditional suspicions around using it.

It is much favoured by birds and insects for both the nectar and pollen of the flowers as well as the flesh of the fruit.

It has a rugged, robust shape and can be used as a form plant. Plant as a specimen, part of a bush clump or in a rockery, in full sun or semi-shade.

Size: 1 to 5m

Wildlife

lnsect food plant:

Many insects including butterflies visit the flowers for their nectar and / or pollen. Insects also feed on the fruit.

Birds:

Birds relish the fruit, and feed on insects that visit the plant for its flowers and fruit.

Uses

Culinary:
  • The pulp of the refreshing, nutritious, edible fruits make a good substitute for applesauce when mixed with a little sugar and water
  • Traditionally a juice can be squeezed from from the fruit to flavour porridge
  • Fruit is eaten raw, fresh from the tree or dried
Medicinal:
  • This South African Wild Fruit is considered one of the traditional health foods of the Northern Sotho people.
  • Various parts of this plant are used to treat a wide range of ailments, including toothache, inflammation of limbs, malaria, ringworm and chest ailments.

Distribution

Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal,  Free State, Northern Cape, Estern Cape

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