Africa's Indigenous Trees - 3 -

In this series of  blogs I am sharing some interesting snippets about the trees I  personally find in the bush.  I set off traversing in the early hours of dawn before the excessive heat moves in – this particular morning as I was walking in a rocky  dry parched environment I came across these interesting trees. 

 Candelabra-tree Euphorbia cooperi

The species adapted to survive in arid regions occurs in bushvelt “normally on rocky hill slopes”.The latex from this tree is highly toxic. Sensitive to low temperatures it grows very slowly. I found clusters of tall trees in the rocky region and did wander how old these are?

 

Here’s A Few Interesting Points

Despite the latex being highly toxic, it is “said to be the deadliest of all the euphorbias” –  the flowers and fruit are consumed by “Baboons and Doves”.

The  flowers are actually quite pretty,”borne in groups above the thorns, formingly roughly three continuous rows; the middle row consists of male flowers and the other two  of bisexual flowers which appear in May to August”. 

 Interesting Uses

* Used as a fish poison

* The wood is a “white soft light, ueless wood but it is devoured by termites when dry”

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Reference:

Piet Van Wyk’s, ” Trees of Kruger National Park”;

 “eTrees of South Africa”, by Braam and Piet Van Wyk; 

“Game Ranger In Your Backpack”, by Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick.

Photos: Julie A M Edwards