Warburgia salutaris

Warburgia salutaris

Common Names

Pepperbark Tree (english)
Peperbasboom (afrikaans)

Taxonomy

Family CANELLACEAE
Genus Warburgia
Species salutaris
SA Plant Number 488
Basionym Warburgia salutaris

Description

Warburgia salutaris is a fairly hardy, medium sized tree or large shrub with brown bark that has slightly raised, yellowish lenticels and a peppery smell. The attractive glossy green leaves also smell strongly of pepper when crushed. The young leaves are blue green and resemble the Silver Cluster Leaf (Terminalia sericea).

The greenish-yellow flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves from July to December and are inconspicuous. They are followed by large green berries.

The bark of this tree is collected extensively for medicinal purposes and the over harvesting of the bark has killed off the majority of these trees making it highly endangered.

This beautiful, neatly shaped tree with a non-aggressive root system makes a great garden plant. It makes a dense and effective hedge and grows exceptionally well in containers.

Plant in sun or semi-shade, in well-composted, well-drained soil

Size 3 – 8M

Wildlife

Game:

Leaves are browsed by Black Rhino and various Antelope species

Uses

Medicinal:

The bark is used extensively in traditional medicine, for many ailments including abdominal pains, common colds, sinus problems, headaches and malaria

Culinary:

Fresh or dried leaves can be added to stews and other food dishes for a peppery taste / flavour. A tea can be brewed from the dried leaves - pleasant tasting and refreshing.

Distribution

KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Swaziland, Malawia and Zimbabwe

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