Africa's Indigenous Trees - 1 -
As I continue to traverse Africa’s great plains, riverine habitats, kopjies, woodlands, one is always discovering new and interesting flora and fauna. That journey of learning never ends.
The Weeping Boerbean – Schotia brachypetala
This tree really caught my attention recently on one of my walks … the gorgeous flower, the buzzing sound of bees and the prolific birdlife. A medium sized semi-deciduous tree I discovered it along a river bank in glorious bloom.
Here’s A Few Interesting Points
I witnessed an array of birdlife in particular the white bellied sunbird, and bees around the tree canopy. The magnificent floral display dominated the scene set amongst other large trees in the riverine habitat. They also appear to grow on termite mounds which has good “well-aerated soil”. The leaves are browsed by game,including bushbuck and civit, they consume what the monkeys and baboons drop to the floor as the flowers produce an abundant nector.
* Early Voortrekkers used the seeds as a coffee substitute hence the name “Boerbean”
* The wood from this tree is used in furniture making.
* If you in need of a hangover or heartburn relief – a “decoction of the bark” will apparently sort that problem out too!
Walk & Paint Africa
Follow me on this journey through the bush as I walk and Paint Africa with my Jack Russel, Hercules !
Get in touch and let us customise your special safari.
Piet Van Wyk’s, ” Trees of Kruger National Par”k;
“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