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. delivers factual and educational information on indigenous trees, such as the grand Baobab and Marula trees, the sausage tree and the quiver tree.


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

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


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


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

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


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


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