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The Botanical Society of South Africa
       Kwa Zulu-Natal Coastal Branch

Trees 2013

Since trees, with shrubs, provide a framework for the rest of the plants in your garden, and provide homes and food sources for birds and other wildlife, they need to be carefully selected and placed.  When selecting trees consider the size of your garden and whether you want it to be shady or more open. Remember that a number of indigenous trees are very fast-growing ‘pioneer’ species and will create shady areas even before you expected this to happen. You can obtain beautiful effects by planting different flowering trees next to one another. Also, there is much good advice available on beautiful locally indigenous trees that can replace any ‘invader’ trees in your garden.


Acacia burkei

Black Monkey Thorn

Medium to large bushveld tree, hooked thorns, provides good bird nesting sites

Acacia karroo

Sweet Thorn

Fast-growing medium thorn tree for wildlife, inflorescences scented yellow balls

Acacia nigrescens

Knob Thorn

Handsome large tree, conspicuous thorns, fast-growing; scented cream flowers

Acacia nilotica

Scented Thorn

Low flat-crowned coastal tree 2-5m, thorny, yellow flowers, smelly beaded pods

Acacia robusta ssp. clavigera

Brack Thorn

Handsome large shade tree, fast-growing; dense foliage, scented cream flowers

Acacia robusta ssp. robusta

Splendid Acacia

Attractive medium tree, grows in inland dry areas; scented white-cream flowers

Acacia sieberiana

Paperbark Thorn

Tall tree, characteristic flat 'umbrella' crown, cream flowers, peeling bark. Birds

Acacia xanthophloea

Fever Tree

Tall tree, moist sunny conditions, yellow bark and flowers, fast-growing, birds

Afrocarpus (Podocarpus) falcatus

Outeniqua Yellowwood

Large evergreen forest tree, produces valuable furniture, Cape parrots eat fruit

Alberta magna

Natal Flame

Uncommon tree for colder areas, sun/semi; spectacular red flower-bracts

Albizia adianthifolia


Large spreading-crown deciduous pioneer tree, cream flowers, light shade

Albizia petersiana

Many-stem Albizia

Uncommon large attractive deciduous Zululand tree, gives shade in summer

Allophylus natalensis

Dune False Currant

Large shrub / small tree for coastal sun-semi. Profuse red berries, trifoliate

Antidesma venosum


Small tree, decorative cream flowers, profuse berries on female for birds.

Aphloia theiformis

Mountain Peach

Small bushy evergreen tree for shade, scented white flowers, white berries

Apodytes dimidiata


Neat evergreen tree, shiny leaves, cream scented flowers, red and black fruit

Atalaya alata

Lebombo Krantz Ash

3-7m smallish deciduous tree, yellow autumn foliage, propeller-like fruit

Balanites maughamii

Green Thorn

Large forest tree with fluted trunk, sparse crown; edible fruit kills bilharzia

Baphia racemosa

Natal Camwood

Small evergreen coastal tree, profuse sweetly scented, white pea-flowers

Barringtonia racemosa

Powder-puff Tree

Likes moist soil along coastal lagoons/streams, white or pink hanging flowers

Berchemia discolor

Brown Ivory

Handsome small to medium tree; edible, nutritious yellow fruits; attracts birds

Berchemia zeyheri

Red Ivory

Neat, attractive multi-stemmed tree with sweet edible red fruit, attracts birds

Bersama lucens

Glossy White Ash

Medium evergreen tree, glossy foliage, cream flower spikes, red fruits for birds

Brachylaena discolor

Coast Silver Oak

Fast-growing small tree for coastal or windy areas; good for hedge or screen

Bridelia micrantha

Coastal Golden Leaf

Fast-growing tree, moist sun, lovely new leaves and autumn colours, birds

Buddleja saligna

False Olive

4m upright spindly tree, dry sun, profuse honey-scented cream flower heads

Calodendrum capense

Cape Chestnut

Large tree in scarp forest, profuse pink orchid-like flowers, attracts butterflies

Canthium inerme

Common Turkey-berry

Small evergreen coastal tree, tasty edible black fruits attract birds; butterflies

Casearia sp.nov

Southern Sword-Leaf

An uncommon small-medium tree, growing in bush-clumps or on its own

Cassine sp.

Bonsai starter

A rigid branched, spiny leaved tree, with good potential to shape into a bonsai

Cassipourea gummiflua

Large-leaved Onionwood

Large riverine tree, 10-15m, sun/semi-shade, horizontal branches; shiny leaves

Cavacoa aurea

Natal Hickory

Tree, round crown, profuse yellow flowers. Fluted stem. Rare.

Celtis africana

White Stinkwood

Beautiful large deciduous tree, smooth grey bark, small yellow fruit attracts birds

Chionanthus foveolatus

Common Pock Ironwood

Decorative shiny-leaved small-medium evergreen tree, scented flowers; birds

Chionanthus peglerae

Giant Pock Ironwood

Decorative shiny-leaved small-medium tree, scented flowers; birds

Chrysophyllum viridifolium

Fluted Milkwood

Large forest tree with beautiful fluted stem, rounded crown, yellow fruits; birds

Cladostemon kirkii


Unusual small tree, sun/shade, lovely pale yellow flowers, fruit has strong smell

Clausena anisata


3-5m small tree, smelly foliage, white flowers and red fruits, butterflies and birds

Clerodendrum glabrum

Cat's Whiskers

4-8m small bushy tree, cream or pink flowers, good for butterflies and birds

Colophospermum mopane

Mopane Tree

Medium-large upright savannah tree, attractive 'butterfly' foliage, Mopane worms

Combretum erythrophyllum

River Bushwillow

Fast growing tree with lovely autumn foliage, attracts birds, cold-hardy

Combretum kraussii

Forest Bushwillow

Medium tree 6-10m, with changing colour seasonal foliage, red winged seeds

Combretum molle

Velvet Bushwillow

Decorative medium tree for sun-semi, colourful autumn leaves, winged fruits

Commiphora harveyi

Red-stem Corkwood

Small-medium deciduous tree, sun-semi, attractive foliage, coppery peeling bark.

Cordia caffra

Coastal Cordia

Small semi-deciduous bushy tree 4-6m, sun, smooth leafed, red berries, birds

Cordia monoica

Sandpaper Cordia

Small sparse tree 2-4m, sun, rough leaf texture, bright red edible berries, birds

Cordyla africana

Wild Mango

Large spreading tree with yellow tufted flowers and edible mango-like fruits

Craibia zimmermannii


Delightful small tree for sun/shade, lovely scented white flowers.  Butterflies

Croton gratissimus

Lavender Croton

Lovely evergreen tree, spreading flattish canopy, pretty silvery bicoloured leaves

Croton sylvaticus

Forest Fever-berry

6-10m semi-deciduous tree, attractive white flower-spikes, orange fruits. Birds

Curtisia dentata


6-12m evergreen tree, sun/semi-shade, attractive serrated bicoloured leaves

Cussonia natalensis

Rock Cabbage Tree

4-6m decorative tree, found on rocky hill-tops, gold in autumn palmate leaves

Cussonia paniculata

Highveld Cabbage Tree

Small-medium deciduous tree in sun. Angular shape and grey palmate foliage

Cussonia sphaerocephala

Forest Cabbage Tree

Fast-growing tall moist forest tree; attractive foliage, compact, rounded crown

Cussonia spicata

Cabbage Tree

Medium deciduous tree. Sun. Unusual angular form and sparse palmate foliage

Cussonia zuluensis

Zulu Cabbage Tree

Small multi-stemmed tree, sun/semi-shade, attractive foliage clustered at top

Diospyros lycioides

Blue Bush

Shrub or small bushy tree, sun, scented cream flowers, red fruit loved by birds

Diospyros natalensis

Small-leaved Jackal-berry

Small tree, neat shape, glossy fine foliage, small orange "acorns" eaten by birds

Diospyros natalensis 'bonsai'

Small-leaved Jackal-berry

Small tree, neat shape, glossy fine foliage, small orange "acorns" eaten by birds

Dombeya rotundifolia

Wild Pear

Small deciduous tree 2-5m, sun, round leaves, profuse white or pink flowers

Dovyalis caffra

Kei Apple

Good spiny hedge plant, sun/semi-shade, fruit in female for birds and people

Dovyalis longispina

Natal Apricot

Small thorny evergreen coastal tree. Barrier/screen plant. Edible fruit, birds

Dovyalis zeyheri

Wild Apricot

Small or medium spiny tree. Yellow-orange oval edible fruits for wildlife/people

Dracaena mannii

Small-leaved Dragon Tree

Decorative small tree with unusual spiky foliage, sun; orange fruits for birds

Ekebergia capensis

Cape Ash


Englerophytum magalismontanum


Small-medium evergreen tree, grows along inland ridges, delicious fruit, birds

Englerophytum natalense

Natal Milkplum

Small-medium evergreen tree in coastal forest understorey, delicious fruit, birds

Erythrina caffra

Coast Coral Tree

Medium to large deciduous tree. Orange/red flowers in winter. Excellent for birds

Erythrina latissima

Broad-leaved Coral Tree

Deciduous tree, large rough leaves, corky bark, lovely red flowers, attracts birds

Erythrina lysistemon

Common Coral Tree

Small-medium deciduous tree, prickles on leaves, red inflorescences, sunbirds

Euclea divinorum

Magic Guarri

Small bushy evergreen tree, dry areas, sun, small white flowers, fruit for birds

Euclea natalensis

Natal Guarri

Small-medium evergreen tree, sun. Dense crown. Lovely scent. Fruit for birds.

Eugenia erythrophylla

Large-leaved Myrtle

3-10m attractive small coastal tree with pink new leaves, red fruit eaten by birds

Eugenia umtamvunensis

Thick-leaf Myrtle

Rare small-medium evergreen tree with shiny, yellow to red to purple edible fruit

Euphorbia tirucalli

Rubber Euphorbia

Succulent leafless multi-stemmed tree 4-6m, sun, toxic sap, seeds for birds

Ficus abutilifolia

Large-leaved Rock Fig

Medium deciduous tree for sun, dry, rocky areas; large round leaves, fruit, birds

Ficus glumosa

Mountain Fig

Medium to large inland tree, dry exposed positions, rock-splitter. Good for wildlife

Ficus ingens

Red-leaved Rock Fig

Small to medium spreading tree, sun. Beautiful red-bronze spring leaves. Birds

Ficus lutea

Giant-leaved Fig

Large spreading tree, big leathery leaves, wind-resistant and fast-growing; birds

Ficus natalensis

Natal Fig

Large spreading evergreen tree, strangler, provides shade, fruits for wildlife

Ficus polita

Wild Rubber Fig

Handsome tall semi-deciduous tree, glossy heart-shaped leaves, attracts wildlife

Ficus sur

Broom Cluster Fig

Medium-large tree, beautiful bronze new leaves, fast-growing, fruits attract birds

Ficus trichopoda

Swamp Fig

Beautiful swamp-forest tree; attractive red-veined leaves, fruits eaten by birds

Galpinia transvaalica

Wild Pride-of-India

Beautiful tree from northern KZN, masses of white flowers. Good container plant

Garcinia gerrardii

Forest Mangosteen

Attractive shrub to small tree, shade; beautiful bronze new leaves. Fruit for birds

Garcinia livingstonei

African Mangosteen

Small chunky tree with beautiful leathery foliage, red new leaves, orange fruits

Halleria lucida 'maroon'

Tree Fuchsia

Small bushy upright tree, unusual maroon-flowered variety, excellent for birds

Halleria lucida 'orange'

Tree Fuchsia

Small bushy upright tree, orange tubular flowers, black berries, excellent for birds

Halleria lucida 'red'

Tree Fuchsia

Small bushy upright tree, masses of red flowers, black berries, excellent for birds

Haplocoelum gallense

Gallo Plum

3-7m light shade, pretty new foliage and pink-red fruit eaten by people and birds

Harpephyllum caffrum

Wild Plum

Tall fast-growing neat evergreen tree, foliage clustered, edible red fruits; wildlife

Heteropyxis natalense

Lavender Tree

Small erect tree, attractive, neat shape. Shiny, scented leaves good for potpourri

Hibiscus tiliaceus

Lagoon Hibiscus

Small sprawling tree, fast-growing; beautiful yellow flowers that fade to orange

Inhambanella henriquesii

Milk Pear

Large tree in northern KZN coastal forest, beautiful red new leaves, tasty red fruit

Kiggelaria africana

Wild Peach

Small-medium bushy tree, cold-hardy sun/semi, attracts butterflies and birds

Loxostylis alata


Small spreading tree for sun/shade with attractive foliage and red/white flowers

Lydenburgia (Catha) abbottii

Pondo Khat

Rare tall forest tree from Pondoland. Red new leaves and fruit a 3-lobed capsule

Macaranga capensis

Swamp Poplar

Tall handsome coastal tree for wet areas, birds eat fruit, bark stripped for muthi

Maesa lanceolata

False Assegaai

Small semi-deciduous pioneer, sun, scented small white flowers, fruit for birds

Manilkara mochisia

Lowveld Milkberry

Small to medium evergreen tree for warm areas, edible, juicy, sweet fruit. Birds

Millettia grandis


Graceful small-medium deciduous tree, mauve flowerspikes and velvet pods

Mimusops caffra

Coastal Red Milkwood

 Large evergreen coastal tree with dense foliage and red tasty fruit, attracts birds

Mimusops obovata

Red Milkwood

Large evergreen riverine tree with leathery foliage and dark fruit attracts birds

Noltea africana

Soap Dogwood

2-6m small straggly tree, likes damp soil in sun/semi-shade, small white flowers

Nuxia floribunda

Forest Elder

Shrubby or medium rounded tree, sun/semi. Masses of scented white flowers

Ocotea bullata

Black Stinkwood

Rare tall forest tree, attractive shiny foliage, bark for muthi, purple fruit for birds

Olea africana

African Olive

Small-medium evergreen bushy tree, sun, dry areas, edible fruit attracts birds

Olea woodiana

Forest Olive

Attractive small bushy evergreen coastal tree, dark, glossy foliage, fruit for birds

Olinia emarginata

Natal Hard Pear

Attractive evergreen tree of colder inland areas, small red berries attract birds

Oncoba spinosa

Snuffbox Tree

Small thorny tree. Large white and yellow 'fried-egg' flowers, hard round fruit.

Oxyanthus latifolius

Zulu Loquat

Shrub/small tree to 5m, semi-shade, scented white flowers, yellow-orange fruit

Pappea capensis


Small-medium bushveld tree, yellow flowers, tasty red fruits, birds, butterflies

Pavetta revoluta

Dune Bride's Bush

2-5m coastal shrub or small tree, sun/shade. Bunches of scented white flowers

Peltophorum africanum

Weeping Wattle

Medium deciduous tree; sunny, dry areas; compound leaves, yellow flowerspikes

Phoenix reclinata

Wild Date Palm

Multi-stemmed reclining palm. Spiny leaf-stalks. Sun/shade. Yellow 'dates', birds

Pittosporum viridiflorum


Small bushy tree, sun/shade, cream-yellow flowers. Red jelly-seeds for birds.

Podocarpus elongatus

Breede River Yellowwood

Lovely upright evergreen coniferous tree with glossy dark foliage, attracts birds

Podocarpus henkelii

Natal Yellowwood

Lovely upright coniferous forest tree with glossy dark foliage, attracts birds

Podocarpus latifolius

Real Yellowwood

Large upright evergreen tree with dense green foliage, ripe fruits attract birds

Protorhus longifolia

Red Beech

Medium evergreen coastal tree with old leaves turning red; grey berries for birds

Prunus africana

Red Stinkwood

Tall handsome forest tree; fruit eaten by birds. Bark has medicinal uses

Pseudosalacia streyi

Pondo Rock-lemon

Unusual localised small tree, leathery foliage, horizontal branching, endangered

Psydrax obovata


Attractive glossy-leaved medium tree in coastal forests, good for birds

Ptaeroxylon obliquum


Deciduous tree with lovely autumn foliage and scented cream-yellow flowers

Rapanea melanophloeos


Small-medium decorative tree, profuse small purple fruit on stems attracts birds

Rauvolfia caffra

Quinine Tree

Large decorative shiny-leaf tree for damp areas.  Attracts birds and butterflies

Rawsonia lucida

Forest Peach

Small evergreen forest tree, shade, attractive toothed foliage, butterflies

Rothmannia capensis

Cape Gardenia

Medium forest tree, sun/semi-shade. Lovely large, scented cream flowers

Rothmannia fischeri

Woodland Rothmannia

Shrub or small tree with lovely large, scented, speckled cream flowers

Schefflera umbellifera

False Cabbage Tree

Medium upright tree for damp situations, spectacular white flower clusters

Schotia brachypetala

Weeping Boer-bean

Beautiful deciduous tree, lovely red flowers attract sunbirds. Makes good bonsai.

Schotia brachypetala 'bonsai'

Weeping Boer-bean

Beautiful deciduous tree, lovely red flowers attract sunbirds. Makes good bonsai.

Sclerocarya birrea


Deciduous medium-large tree with tasty yellow fruit for people and wildlife

Scolopia mundii

Red Thorn-pear

Tall tree, shiny leaves, red new foliage, scented flowers, edible fruit; birds

Searsia (Rhus) gueinzii

Thorny Karree

Attractive small tree 4m, spreading form, hardy in dry areas. Good for bonsai

Searsia (Rhus) lancea


Attractive medium evergreen tree 8m, spreading crown, hardy in cold areas

Searsia (Rhus) leptodictya

Berg Karree

Attractive medium sized tree up to 8m, spreading form, hardy in cold areas

Searsia (Rhus) pyroides

Firethorn Currant

Attractive 6m medium bushing, cold-hardy tree, pretty orange autumn leaves

Sideroxylon inerme

White Milkwood

Hardy medium-large evergreen coastal tree; grows on dunes; fruit for birds

Strychnos decussata

Cape Teak

Medium sized evergreen forest tree, attractive glossy foliage, small yellow fruits

Strychnos gerrardii


Attractive medium to tall forest tree with decorative orange edible round fruits

Strychnos spinosa

Spiny Monkey Orange

Small spiny tree, large woody fruit has delicious pulp surrounding toxic seeds

Syzygium cordatum

Water Berry

Large evergreen tree for damp coastal areas, cream flowers, birds eat fruit

Syzygium gerrardii

Forest Water Berry

Large evergreen tree, attractive shiny reddish new leaves, cream flowers, birds

Tabernaemontana elegans

Toad Tree

Small tree, corky bark, scented white flowers, large warted fruit, attracts birds

Tabernaemontana ventricosa

Forest Toad Tree

 Smallish tree 4-6m in forest shade, starry white flowers, toad-like fruit for birds

Teclea gerrardi

Zulu Cherry-orange

Medium trifoliate evergreen tree, fruit for birds, attracts swallowtail butterflies

Teclea natalensis

Natal Cherry-orange

A small evergreen tree with red fruit for birds, attracts swallowtail butterflies

Terminalia sericea

Silver Cluster-leaf

Small-medium upright deciduous tree, sun; silver foliage; pink papery fruits

Toddaliopsis bremekampii

Wild Mandarin

6m forest tree, sun/shade, cream flowers, birds eat warted fruit; butterflies

Trema orientalis


Very fast-growing small-medium tree, light crown, attracts insects and birds

Trichilia dregeana

Forest Mahogany

Large evergreen tree, provides deep shade,  birds, good indoors when young

Trichilia emetica

Natal Mahogany

Large semi-deciduous tree, provides shade, attracts birds, traditional medicine

Turraea floribunda

Wild Honeysuckle Tree

Small-medium tree, scented cream-green flowers, attracts birds and butterflies

Vepris lanceolata

White Ironwood

Attractive, neat spreading trifoliate tree 5-7m. Attracts birds and butterflies

Voacanga thouarsii

Wild Frangipani

Beautiful evergreen tree, damp soil, scented cream flowers, large fruit for birds

Widdringtonia nodiflora

Mountain Cypress

Column-like growth form, likes cold areas, good pot plant & Christmas tree

Xymalos monospora


Large evergreen forest tree with characteristic peeling bark. Good for birds

Zanthoxylum capensis

Small Knobwood

Small forest tree, knobbly bark, attractive small leaves, birds and butterflies

Ziziphus mucronata

Buffalo Thorn

Shiny-leaved spiny tree 5-15m, brown berries, excellent for attracting wildlife