Trees 0 General Info This unarmed Tree is up to 12m high and has a rounded crown. The simple, thin Leaves are petiolate. The 5-merous yellow Flowers are bisexual and actinomorphic. Description Previous Names: Phyllogeiton zeyheri, Rhamnus zeyheri.

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Trees 0 General Info This unarmed Tree is up to 12m high and has a rounded crown. The simple, thin Leaves are petiolate. The 5-merous yellow Flowers are bisexual and actinomorphic. Description Previous Names: Phyllogeiton zeyheri, Rhamnus zeyheri. RSA Tree No. Family: Rhamnaceae. Buckthorn Family. This family mainly contains trees and shrubs.

It has about 58 genera and species. In the RSA, there are 9 genera and species. Here trees include Berchemia, Noltea, Rhamnus and Ziziphus. Leaves are simple, usually alternate and stipules are present — if only for a short time. Flowers are actinomorphic regular and symmetric and a prominent hypanthium the cup-like receptacle usually derived from the fusion of floral envelopes and androecium, and on which are seemly borne calyx, corolla and stamens is present.

The Calyx is tubular and sepals do not overlap. The free petals arise from the calyx tube or from the outer margin of the disc. The Stamens arise with, and opposite to, the petals. Anthers have up to 2 pollen sacs and pollen is released through longitudinal slits.

The Ovary is usually superior. Fruit is a drupe. A persistent Calyx may partly enclose the drupe. Name derivation: Berchemia named after M Berchem, a French botanist in the 17th century. Zeyher: noted German botanist for his fundamental work on Flora Capensis a systematic description of the Plants of the Cape colony and neighbouring territories.

There are 3 species of the genus Berchemia in southern Africa. Conservation Status: L C. Least Concern. Assessed: W. Foden and L. The good wood quality may pose a problem in the future due to illegal harvesting. The Trunk is straight with a diameter up to 36cm ending in a rounded, leafy crown. Young branches are green and galls may occur on these branches. Young twigs 1-year-old current branch segments may be a reddish purple.

Older trees have bark that is darker and cracked into longitudinally running segments, which may appear rectangular. Photo: David Becking. David Becking. In winter, the leaves may turn yellow or a clear golden colour before falling. They are elliptic to ovate and up to 6 x 3,5cm but usually smaller.

The shiny, usually hairless leaves are thin, dark green, blue-green or grey-green above and slightly lighter below. Young leaves are initially bright green and change when mature. Lateral veins end at the leaf margin and form a herringbone pattern Photo The Base is round or narrowed or notched and may be reddish.

The Margin is often entire with a continuous margin, not in any way indented but may be scalloped between lateral veins. The Petiole leaf stalk is short — up to 5mm long. Flowers have 5 ovate Sepals with a keel on inner face. The 5 spatulate shaped like a spatula with a broad rounded end Petals are shorter than the sepals. The Disc more or less fleshy or elevated development of the receptacle is swollen. The 5 Stamens are situated opposite the petals and inserted outside the disc.

Flowers have a single Pistil a unit of the Gynoecium, the female element of the flower, composed of the ovary, style and stigma containing a superior said of an ovary that is free from the calyx or perianth 2-locular Ovary that is immersed in the disc. A solitary basal Ovule is contained in each locule. The conical Style is thick and 2-lobed. The glandulose Stigmas are just visible photo The fruit is oval or widest at the base and is slightly pointed.

It is fleshy, like a very small peach fruit. It may be membranous e. The initially green fruit turns yellow or red when mature. Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location. It is located in the bushveld is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of southern Africa , rocky hillsides, stony ridges, bushy stream banks, dry forests and termite mounds from low to medium altitudes.

It is drought resistant but sensitive to frost. Trees are common in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga e. The Flowers attract bees and other insects. This is a heavily browsed plant. Baboons, monkeys and bushbabies eat the Fruit.

Birds including Loeries turacos , Doves bulbuls and Green Pigeons also eat the fruit. Impala and Nyala eat both the fruit and leaves. Porcupines eat the Bark. Ethnobotany The sweet, sticky Fruit is edible and good tasting.

It is much sought after and can be dried and stored for future use. Local people sell the fruit. The very hard, dense Wood has a fine texture and polishes well.

It is used for the manufacture of quality furniture, ornaments, fence poles, knife handles, knobkerries and bows. Sapwood is pale cream and heartwood is an attractive pinkish red. The wood is resistant to insect attack but difficult to plane. A purplish dye is extractable from the Bark.

Propagation is easily carried out using cleaned seed but the plant is frost sensitive. This is a good bird, bee and butterfly tree. References Boon, R. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban. Burrows, J. Trees and Shrubs Mozambique. Publishing Print Matters Pty Ltd. Noordhoek, Cape Town. Coates Palgrave, M. Struik, Cape Town. Lawrence, G. M, Tenth Printing Palmer, E. Schmidt, S. Lotter, M.


Berchemia discolor

People of the world have depended on wild plants for their diets for hundreds of thousands of years and many people continue to rely on these species to meet at least part of their daily food and nutritional needs. Different human groups living in similar or slightly different environments especially near natural forests and dryland woodland and savannas use different basket of species from wild edible plants Turner et al. These differences have been explained from habitat differences and different levels of availability of foods and diversity Turner et al. An attitude is suggested to allow choices from the potentially available biodiversity of a set of species that are acceptable within a group and have acquired status within small human communities over time Turner et al. Wild plant species, even for agrarian peoples or pastoralists who mainly used animal products, would have assumed a special importance during times of crop failure and famine Turner,


Berchemia zeyheri

Berchemia discolor Klotzsch Hemsl. Family: Rhamnaceae Common names: birdplum, brown ivory Eng. Berchemia discolor is also used medicinally for various ailments. It can be easily propagated from seed. Its stem is pale green, covered with brown lenticels, especially when young.

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