TROPICAL PLANT ENCYCLOPEDIA


Pictogram Guide · Mouse over pictogram for definition

Colophospermum mopane, Mopane, Turpentine Tree

Colophospermum mopane

Mopane, Turpentine Tree
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Origin: South Africa
Big tree taller than 20 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunModerate waterFragrantDeciduous plantSubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Colophospermum mopane (Mopane) is a native to South Africa and is a deciduous tree that grows from 10 to 20 ft in height. It can have a lifespan of up to 100 years and its distinctive butterfly-shaped leaves are a signature symbol in many parts of South Africa. It needs full sun to thrive and it enjoys moderate water. Mopane is also fragrant and produces round, hard, reddish-brown seeds that are attractive to wildlife. Crushed leaves have a turpentine odor.

Mopane can grow in USDA Zones 9-11 and a mature plant can be cold hardy to the low 30s Fahrenheit for short periods of time. In colder regions, it should be grown in a pot and brought inside during the winter months. To ensure it continues to grow properly, plant it in a soil that is rich in organic matter, such as peat, compost, or manure. It is also important to water regularly and to fertilize during the growing season with a balanced, granular fertilizer. Mopane is sensitive to certain pesticides, so it is best to use organic methods of pest control, such as companion planting or hand-picking, to keep pests away.

By taking proper care of this truly unique plant, it can live for many years and, for many, be an iconic symbol of South Africa.

In its native habitat the leaves are fed on by swarms of fat, dark greyish mopane worms, which can reach almost 10 cm long. These are rich in protein and are eaten by people, either roasted or dried. The sale of dried mopane worms is an important income source for many people, creating a local economy. Other traditional uses of the mopane tree include the making of houses and kraal fences, twigs chewed as tooth brushes, the bark is used to make twine and for tanning, and the leaves used for healing wounds.





Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/colophospermum_mopane.htm

Colophospermum mopane - seeds

Mopane, Turpentine Tree. The compound leaves are divided in two so that the leaflets resemble butterfly wings. Crushed leaves have a turpentine odor. Mopane wood is gaining popularity as a heavy, decorative wood, its uses including aquarium ornaments, bases for lamps or sculptures, and garden accents. It is also increasingly being used in the construction of musical instruments, particularly woodwind. Mopane twigs have been traditionally used as tooth brushes, bark to make twine and for tanning, and leaves for healing wounds. The wood is also used to make charcoal and for braai wood.
Ordering seeds info

RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES:
Seed Germination Mix #3, professional grade
SUNSHINE-Epi - Seeds and cuttings booster
SUNSHINE Bombino - Young Plant Booster
Per pack: 6 large seeds
In stock
$8.95
Free shipping