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Cryptocarya wyliei

   (Family: Lauraceae)
Afrikaans: Rooikweper English: Red quince, Red-haired laurel Xhosa: umNqayane Zulu: umNgcabe  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Height: 2 - 6m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred position:
Biome: Forest
Flowering time EDIT
x x x x               x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Flower info
  Small white flowers covered with coppery hairs.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf type
Leaf arrangement
Leaf texture Hairy
Bark / Stem type
  Leaf info EDIT
  Leaf buds are covered with coppery hairs. The leaves are small and green on the upper surface, and the under surface is a silvery blue with rust-coloured/coppery hairs along the midrib and veins. The leaves are tiny with a relatively broad base that taper towards the tips as the margin rolls under.
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
  Seed info EDIT
  Bright red fruit, ripening between February and April.
Description EDIT
A shrub or a small tree ranging from 2 to 6 m with a greyish stem.
Gets small white flowers which develop into bright red fruit.
Growing EDIT
This plant can be grown from seed and cuttings. Remove the seeds from the fleshy pulp of the ripe fruit. Sow the cleaned seeds in a sandy loam soil mix in a seed tray and cover with pieces of bark. Store the tray in a warm, moist place. This should ensure germination in about four to six weeks.

Cryptocarya can also be grown from cuttings in summer. This can be done by dipping the cutting in a rooting hormone mixture to promote rooting. Thereafter, place the cutting in a bark and polystyrene mix.
Distribution EDIT
This plant is confined to Natal Group Sandstones, with a scattered distribution in forests of the former Transkei and the KwaZulu-Natal areas. It is also abundant in coastal bush, forest margins, as well as riverine fringe forest and thicket.
History EDIT
The word Cryptocarya stems from the Greek word, krypto, meaning hidden, and carya, means nut, as the ripened fruit is hidden in the enlarged part of the calyx.

The species name, wyliei, was named in honour of James Wylie (1861-1947) who was first appointed in the Durban Botanical Garden as a gardener and later on became the second curator of the Garden, after Medley Wood.
Cryptocarya wyliei, along with the other southern African members of the genus, is used as a substitute for Ocotea bullata in traditional practices, for both medicinal and magical purposes. Concoctions and infusions of the bark are often used to treat headaches, urinary disorders, stomach complications, as well as emotional and nervous disorders. It is also said to be an effective remedy for treating infantile diarrhoea.
Ecology EDIT
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