Trees of South Africa

© Nigel Dennis
Baobab Tree in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
The tree is a well-known symbol of life - a fresh start, positive energy, good health and a bright future. The tree generates oxygen, stores carbon, stabilises the soil and gives life to the world's wildlife.

South Africa has a plethora of iconic, indigenous trees that add to the beauty of South African biodiversity. SouthAfrica.co.za delivers factual and educational information on indigenous trees, such as the grand Baobab and Marula trees, the sausage tree and the quiver tree.

Baobab

All species of baobab trees are deciduous, meaning they shed their leaves annually. This tree is very unique in its appearance and can grow to great sizes, ranging from 5 to 20 m in...more

Black Monkey Orange

The black monkey orange bears a fruit about the same size as a commercial orange, up to 10 cm wide, which starts out green-blue in colour and ripens to a dull yellow colour....more

Buffalo Thorn

The buffalo thorn blooms from October to April, showing its silvery green flowers hiding in dense bunches of its leaves. Its leaves, too, are silvery-grey, which gave it the Afrikaans name blinkblaar...more

Bushwillow

The bushwillow blooms during September in greenish-yellow axillary spikes. These sweet fragrant flowers have been seen to be in bloom during February and March, and it may therefore be possible that they bloom...more

Common Star Chestnut

The common star-chestnut is an unusual looking tree which is hard to miss with its fat trunk that resembles molten material both in shape and its grey-pink colour....more

Corkbush

The cork bush is a very attractive plant. It has pale grey leaves embedded with fine silver hairs that make the whole plant seem shiny. When in flower, the cork bush turns vibrant purple with dense bunches of blossom....more

Jackalberry

The Jackalberry tree can grow extremely tall, up to 25 m high. The circumference of its trunk measures about 4 m. The tree trunk grows upright, spreading its first branches high...more

Knob Thorn

The knob thorn tree is characterised by the shape of its leaves. Each leaf comprises of four to six leaflets, is rather large with lopsided bases and double pinnately compound. The rachis bends backwards...more

Lala Palm

The lala palm tree grows about 5 to 7 m in height, but can reach 15 m. Its stems, growing singly or as more than one, thicken slightly halfway up. Its leaves are greyish-green in colour and resemble the form of a fan....more

Marula Tree

The marula tree has a history that dates back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence has shown that this tree has been a nutritional source since about 10 000 BC. The marula...more

Mopane Tree

The mopane tree characterises the landscape in which it grows for the most part of the year, its new green leaves turning a variety of autumn colours later in the season. It is known for its kaleidoscopic...more

Natal Mahogany

The Natal Mahogany is an evergreen tree that can reach a height of 20 m. It bears a wide spreading crown, creating dense shade under its branches of shiny, dark green leaves....more

Rubber Euphorbia

The branches of this tree are modified into cylindrical photosynthetic organs. The process of synthesizing glucose food from carbon dioxide and water is usually the role of the leaves, the part of the tree usually endowed with green chlorophyll....more

Sausage Tree

The sausage tree carries beautiful flowers varying from blood red to maroon, hanging down in long panicles. Animals such as bushpigs, the impala, duikers, baboons and lovebird come...more

Sickle Bush

The leaves of the sickle bush are soft and feathery. Like other parts of the tree, they are nutritious and are also used in a number of medicinal applications....more

Silver Cluster-leaf

The silver cluster-leaf has a practical common name. Its long lance-shapes leaves are clustered at the ends of the branches and fine silvery hairs covering the surface of the leaves give them a shiny appearance....more

Tamboti

The tamboti tree is of medium height, and has characteristically dark and rough bark. It is a deciduous tree spotted by various colours with distinct growth increments. It exudes a...more

Umbrella Thorn

The pods of the umbrella thorn tree are eaten by wild and domestic animals as well as humans, at times. These twisty, gold-brown pods fall to the ground unopened in large quantities....more

Weeping Boer Bean

e weeping boer bean is a medium-sized to large tree, varying in height from 11 m to 16 m and able to reach 22 m. It has a single trunk which grows its first branches rather close to the ground....more

Weeping Wattle

The weeping-wattle gets the weeping part of its name from the fact that it harbours spittle-bugs. These small sap-sucking insects tap moisture from the stems of the weeping-wattle so rapidly that it is excreted almost as quickly as it is ingested....more

Welwitschia

The welwitschia is a very strange plant with long, wide, strap-like leaves that grow on the ground. The plant only grows two leaves in its lifetime, which break into separate segments...more

Wild Date Palm

The wild date palm is an evergreen tree that grows no higher than 6 m. Its leaves are about 3 to 4 m long and resemble a feather, comprised of approximately 50 leaflets per side....more