Native to South Africa, Balanites maughamii (Torchwood) is a medium- to large-sized tree that can be found in warmer regions. It can either be a big tree, which can grow to be 20 ft or taller, or a small tree, which will grow to 10-20 ft in height.
The Balanites tree is known for needing full sun and moderate water to thrive, making it a great pick for those warm or dry climates. Plus, it is highly adaptive to various soil types from those in the tropics to arid landscapes.
Balanites maughamii is the birthplace to various products. It is used for its wood for building tool and furniture pieces and for its kernel for extraction for cooking oil. Moreover, its fruit is used for producing sweets and alcoholic beverages, and its kernel as medicine in a variety of traditional medicines/ETHNOMEDICINES. This tree is characterized as having spiny or thorny bark and leaves.
Gardeners in U.S.D.A. plant hardiness zones 9-11 can grow Balanites maughamii of their own in their garden. When doing so, it is important to provide the tree with well-drained soil, full sun and supplemental watering. If you are in a cold-climate region, Balanites maughamii can be grown in a pot with the same methods. The pot should be placed in a place that is out of the reach of frosts and cold winds.
Balanites maughamii is a great choice for creating a lush, exotic garden. It provides a beautiful backdrop to shade for areas of your garden and will add a deep, comforting green and with its thorny/spiny leaves adding a protective border.