|At a Glance|
|SA Tree Number||647|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
A fast growing large tree with a straight trunk and roundish crown. The bark is a distinctive yellowish brown in mature trees.
Found only in coastal forests in east, central and Southern Africa.
Flower - Fruit
In South Africa flowering is from May to October and fruiting from October to March. It takes about 9-10 months between fertilization of the bisexual flowers and ripening of the fruit.
Relatively insignificant white flowers are produced in sprays at the end of branches
The name quinine is related to its bitter taste and does not help in cases of malaria
Leaves are browsed by buck, the leaves, flowers and fruit eaten by vervet monkeys and the fruit by bushbabies. It is an also an important species in bee keeping.
This is a fast-growing attractive tree which is easily grown from seed. Unfortunately its large size and invasive root system make it unsuitable for small gardens.
There are many excellent examples of this tree along the Molweni River. They are almost entirely restricted to the river banks.
The genus is named after Leonhard Rauwolf a 16th century German physician, botanist and traveller who is reasonably well known in the medical field for having his name associated with the plant which is used to produce the drug “resperine” – an antihypertensive/sedative consisting of an alkaloid extracted from the plant Rauvolfia serpentina. In 1703, Charles Plumier a renowned French botanist, generously named the genus in Rauwolf’s honour.
The term “caffra” means ‘of Kaffraria’ (Eastern Cape).