Burchellia bubalina (Wild pomegranate) is a large shrub that produces deep red and crimson vinous flowers in small clusters at the end of its branches, followed by small yellow-green berries. The plant usually grows to a height of 5-10ft, but in favorable conditions, it can reach up to 15ft or more. Its leaves emit a pleasant aromatic smell when crushed, and it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
The Burchellia bubalina, which is the only species in its genus, is endemic to southern Africa and native to the Cape of Good Hope. It is also known as Buffelhorn or Buffaloe-Horn due to the extreme hardness of its wood. The plant flowers in the spring or summer and requires protection from frost. Although it thrives in full sun, it can also grow in deep shade.
The Wild pomegranate is not drought tolerant, and it requires regular watering. When planted in the garden, it should be given a sunny position or semi-shade. In locations with very cold winters, it is advisable to mulch around the plant to protect it from winter temperatures. Pruning lightly after flowering and in mid-spring can keep the shrub looking tidy.
The Wild pomegranate is not related to the true pomegranate, and its common name refers to its initial resemblance when in flower. The plant has medicinal properties, and its roots are used as an emetic to cleanse the body. Additionally, roots are used with other plant parts to concoct a love charm.