|At a Glance|
|Family||Celtidaceae / Ulmaceae - Elm family|
|Seasonality||Evergreen or deciduous, depending on climatic conditions of the area.|
|Height||up to 18m as a tree, also can be found at 1.5m as a shrub|
|SA Tree Number||42|
|Conservation Status||A pioneer plant, not threatened|
A medium-sized tree / shrub with a large canopy, smooth, light-grey bark which frequently is cork-spotted (lenticels), simple, alternate, bright-green leaves which have 3 veins from the base.
Occurs in the wetter regions of eastern and northern South Africa, with nothing south of the Kei river. Usually found in moist soil, along forest margins, watercourses, riverine fringe thicket and also in dry sandy riverbeds.
Flower - Fruit
Small, inconspicuous yellow-green flowers appear in clusters. The sexes are different but can appear on the same tree. Generally from late winter through to autumn.
Fruits are small round green berries on very short stalks, borne from Jan - June, ranging from dark purple to black as they ripen.
An excellent pioneer tree and often the first to appear in disturbed areas.
The young leaves are eaten as a spinach by Zulus.
The wood is light pink but has no commercial value other than fruit-boxes.
Commonly seen in Krantzkloof and have been introduced for shade and bird-life at Nkutu picnic site.
There is always a dead branch somewhere on a Pigeonwood, which attracts barbets and woodpeckers. The fastest growing of all indigenous trees with a record of 7m in a year. Bees pollinate the flowers and birds such as white-eyes, canaries, robins, starlings, sunbirds, doves, swallows and pigeons eat the fruits, also by fruit bats. Many butterfly species use Trema as a larval food plant.
Easily confused with Celtis africana but the main difference is the leaves of Trema orientalis are serrated around the entire margin whereas in the Celtis the serrations are only on the upper half.