|At a Glance|
|Height||5 - 10m|
|SA Tree Number||277|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
The Red-stemmed Corkwood is classified as a medium-sized tree. Stem upright and bark peeling in large papery, coppery-bronze disks. It is deciduous and the large compound leaves turn yellow before falling
The form is compact but with a sparse canopy.
Relatively fast growing.
Prefers sunny positions
This species belongs to the genus Commiphora of which over 200 are found in Africa.
Found in Mpumalanga, the eastern regions of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, where it grows on north-facing slopes.
Flower - Fruit
Small greenish trumpet like flowers from October to December
The fruit is small berry-like and ripens to pinkish red with a black seed.
Attracts birds and insects.
Fences are easily grown from poles cut from this tree. Monkeys and bird eat the seeds. The soft heartwood is chewed to quench thirst.
Makes good bonsai tree
Wood is light and easily carved for spoons and is a favourite for a basket mould to strain Zulu beer.
This is one of the most iconic and easily identified trees in Krantzkloof NR due to its flaking copper-coloured bark.
It is one of two species of Commiphora found in KKNR the other being Commiphora woodii
A number of bird species and vervet monkeys feed on the seeds.
You will find many specimens on the Orange and Yellow trails and those along the Molweni River are particularly large.
The genus name Commiphora originates from the Greek words kommi meaning ‘gum' and phoros meaning ‘bearing'. The name was first used in 1797 by Jacquin who described the first specimen
The corkwoods are a fascinating group of trees, because of their bizarre appearance, but more importantly for their historical and biblical association as providers of the earliest healing balms and fragrances.
Myrrh from Commiphora myrrha is mentioned in the Bible as one of the three gifts presented to the Christ child by the Wise Men.
The Afrikaans common name "kanniedood" (literally "cannot die") refers to the exceptional ability of the plants to retain their water content and withstand drought for long periods.