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Kiggelaria africana

   (Family: Flacourtiaceae)
   
Afrikaans: Wildeperske English: Wild peach Xhosa: umKokoko  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Height: 11 - 20m
Spread: 13m
Special properties:
  Frost Tolerant (light)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
 
pH: neutral
 
Flowering time EDIT
x             x x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
Yellow
 
  Flower info
  Yellow-green
 
 
 
  Leaf info EDIT
  Evergreen
  Kiggelaria africana is not related to the fruit-producing Peach tree, but the leaves are superficially similar but are thicker, stiffer, and have a thin coating of fur on the undersides.
 
 
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
Green
 
 
Seed colour
Black
Orange
  Seed info EDIT
  The hard, round, knobbly, greenish yellow capsule which forms in February to July (late summer to mid-winter) splits to expose shiny black seeds, enclosed in an oily, sticky, bright orange-red coat.
 
 
Description EDIT
A well-shaped and reasonably robust, the low-branching, evergreen tree.
It bears tiny yellow-green flowers from August to January, which then form knobbly, greenish yellow capsule.
Growing EDIT
Propagate it from seed or cuttings-set out young plants when 30 cm tall to prevent them from becoming pot bound. With good conditions, young plants grow fast and flower when two years old.

Has a non-aggressive root system.

It has a natural tendency to branch from low down-prune away the lower branches early on if you want a tree shape.

Reasonably frost-hardy, it likes a moderate amount of water, and a place in the sun. Always add plenty of compost to the soil when planting, and apply a thick mulch layer (organic material, e.g. dried leaves) to protect the surface of the soil. This tree grows in both summer and winter rainfall areas. It tolerates temperatures ranging from about - 2°C to 36°C.
Distribution EDIT
Kiggelaria africana is found in coastal and inland forests (where it can reach 20 m), in bushveld and woodland, along streams and on rocky hillsides-'koppies'. It is widely distributed in Africa, from Kenya in the north to Western Cape in the south.
History EDIT
It is named after Franz Kiggelaer, Curator of Simon van Beaumont's garden. The Latin word, africana means 'comes from Africa'.
Uses EDIT
It makes an excellent screen, forms an effective windbreak.

The hardish, pink-brown wood is a useful general purpose timber (beams, floorboards, furniture). It was once used for the spokes of wagon wheels.

Some people believe that touching this tree will attract lightning. But, the South Sotho prepare a medicine from it to protect their kraals.
Ecology EDIT
The caterpillars of a number of butterfly species sometimes eat the tree bare, but this is part of a natural process, adding insect eating bird visitors, and the trees rapidly regrow their foliage.

The Crowned Hornbill, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Thrush, Cape Robin, Cape White-eye, Southern Boubou and mousebirds enjoy the colourful fruits.
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