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

Trees 2016

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 karroo

Sweet Thorn

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

Acacia robusta

Splendid Acacia

Handsome large tree, fast-growing; scented cream flowers

Acacia sieberiana

Paperbark Thorn

Tree, flat crown, cream flowers, peeling bark. Birds.

Acacia xanthophloea

Fever Tree

Tree, sun, yellow bark and flowers, fast-growing, birds.

Alberta magna

Natal Flame Tree

Rare tree, sun/semi-shade; spectacular red flowers and seeds.

Albizia adianthifolia


Beautiful, large deciduous tree provides light shade.

Antidesma venosum


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

Apodytes dimidiata


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

Bauhinia tomentosa

Yellow Bauhinia

Large shrub, 3m, sun, yellow flowers all year. Good filler for shrub screen

Bersama lucens

Glossy White Ash

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

Bolusanthus speciosus

Tree Wistaria

Full sun, black stem, lovely mauve flowers, narrow crown and drooping foliage

Buddleja saligna

False Olive

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

Calpurnia aurea

Natal Laburnum

Small tree with repeated displays of soft yellow flowers.

Canthium inerme

Common Turkey-berry

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

Celtis africana

White Stinkwood

Beautiful large deciduous tree, fruits attract birds

Chionanthus peglerae

White Pock Ironwood

Medium evergreen tree, glossy foliage, scented flowers; birds eat fruits

Chrysophyllum viridifolium

Fluted Milkwood

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

Clausena anisata


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

Combretum erythrophyllum

River Bushwillow

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

Combretum kraussii

Forest Bushwillow

Medium tree. Beautiful seasonal foliage, red winged seeds

Commiphora harveyi

Red-stem Corkwood

Small-medium, sun, deciduous, attractive foliage, peeling bark.

Croton gratissimus

Lavender-leaved Croton

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

Cryptocarya woodii

Cape Quince

Medium evergreen tree - round crown, glossy foliage and edible black fruits

Curtisia dentata


6-12m evergreen tree, sun/semi-shade, attractive serrated bicoloured 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 semi-deciduous tree. Unusual form and foliage.

Deinbollia oblongifolia

Dune Soap-Berry

Small coastal forest understorey tree, shade/semi; insects; fruits attract wildlife

Diospyros natalensis

Small-leaved Jackal-berry

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

Dombeya rotundifolia

Wild Pear

Small tree, deciduous, sun, profuse white flowers in spring.

Dovyalis caffra

Kei Apple

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

Dovyalis zeyheri

Wild Apricot

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

Dracaena aletriformis

Dragon-leaf Tree

Form plant 1.5 to 3m. Shade. Fruits on showy candelabra ripen to orange.

Dracaena mannii

Small-leaved Dragon Tree

Unusual decorative form tree, 8m, sun; orange fruits for birds.

Erythrina lysistemon

Common Coral Tree

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

Eugenia natalitia

Common Forest Myrtle

Small-medium evergreen tree; sun/shade; edible fruit.

Ficus burkei

Common Wild Fig

Medium tree, dense leafy crown provides good shade, birds

Ficus ingens

Red-leaved Rock Fig

Medium spreading tree, sun. Beautiful red-bronze spring leaves. Birds

Ficus sur

Cape Fig

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

Ficus sycomorus

Sycamore Fig

Magnificent large tree with yellow trunk, excellent for wildlife

Harpephyllum caffrum

Wild Plum

Tall evergreen tree, handsome, fast-growing; dramatic trunk; birds.

Heteropyxis natalensis

Lavender Tree

Small tree, attractive, neat shape. Shiny, scented leaves used in potpourri.

Hibiscus tiliaceus

Lagoon Hibiscus

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

Ilex mitis

Cape Holly

Cold-hardy medium evergreen tree. Grows beside streams in forests.

Indigofera jucunda

River Indigo

Pretty, large shrub/small tree, sun. Profuse pink flowers.

Kiggelaria africana

Wild Peach

Small-medium bushy tree, sun/semi, birds & butterflies.

Leucosidea sericea


Small silvery-foliaged gnarled tree, 2-6m, cream flower-spikes, does well in cold

Loxostylis alata


Flowering (pink) small tree. Reddish fruiting displays. Attractive.

Lydenburgia (Catha) abbottii

Pondo Khat

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

Milletia grandis


Graceful small-medium tree, pretty mauve flowers and velvet seedpods.

Mimusops caffra

Coastal Red Milkwood

Decorative tree with dense foliage and red tasty fruit, attracts birds

Nuxia floribunda

Forest Elder

Small-medium tree, sun/semi. Masses of scented white flowers.

Olea africana

Wild Olive

Small-medium neat tree, hardy, sun, edible fruit attracts birds.

Olinia emarginata

Natal Hard Pear

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

Pavetta gardeniifolia

Common Bride's Bush

Inland shrub/small tree with lovely scented white flowers; birds

Peddiea africana

Poison Olive

Shrub or small tree up to 5m, semi-shade, clusters pale lime-green flowers

Phoenix reclinata

Wild Date Palm

Graceful multi-stemmed reclining spiny palm. Sun/shade. Birds.

Pittosporum viridifolium


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

Podocarpus falcatus

Outeniqua Yellowwood

Beautiful, classic tall evergreen forest tree, sun/shade. Habitat for birds.

Podocarpus henkelii

Natal Yellowwood

Lovely upright evergreen 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  leaves turning red; grey berries for birds

Prunus africana

Red Stinkwood

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

Ptaeroxylon obliquum


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

Rapanea melanophloeos

Cape Beech

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

Rawsonia lucida

Forest Peach

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

Schotia brachypetala

Weeping Boerbeen

Beautiful deciduous tree with lovely red flowers that attract sunbirds. Bonsai.

Searsia chirindensis

Red Currant

Lovely tree with attractive leaves and profuse berries that attract birds

Spirostachys africana


Attractive deciduous tree, good for wildlife; beautiful wood. Poisonous.

Syzygium cordatum


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

Tabernaemontana ventricosa

Forest Toad Tree

Smallish attractive tree for shade, scented starry white flowers, toad-like fruit for birds

Tarenna pavettoides

False Bride's Bush

Large shrub for damp shade, scented cream flowers in profusion

Terminalia phanerophlebia

Lebombo Cluster-leaf

Small tree, 3-6m, pagoda-like,layered branches, autumn foliage, pink winged fruit

Terminalia sericea

Silver Cluster-leaf

Small-medium tree, sun; attractive silver leaves; pink papery fruit.

Trichilia dregeana

Forest Mahogany

Large stately tree, provides full shade, attracts birds, indoor plant when young

Turraea floribunda

Wild Honeysuckle Tree

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

Vepris lanceolata

White Ironwood

Attractive, neat tree. Birds and butterflies.

Warburgia salutaris

Pepper-bark Tree

Small tree, sun/semi, glossy leaves, over-harvested for traditional medicine

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

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

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