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Dovyalis caffra, Kei Apple

Dovyalis caffra

Kei Apple
Family: Salicaceae    (Formerly:Flacourtiaceae)
Origin: Southwest Africa
Can be used for bonsaiLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunRegular waterModerate waterYellow, orange flowersEdibleThorny or spinySubtropical, mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short timeSeaside, salt tolerant plant

The plants contain prominent spikes on the branches. Kei apple's are both drought and salt tolerant and are often used as coastal landscaping shrubs. For the most part, both male and female plants are required for fruit set. There are some female trees that will bear without a male. Trees exhibit allelopathy and will inhibit the growth of other plants nearby. Dovyalis caffra can be cultivated as a border, screen or used to form an impenetrable hedge around a garden to keep unwanted animals and people out. It will grow well in either full sun or light shade and will also need regular trimming in order to maintain a good hedge. The Kei-apple is easily propagated from seed. The fruits must be ripe before they are collected. The seed must be cleaned and dried in a shady spot before planting. The Kei-apple can also be propagated from hardwood cuttings as long as they are treated with root-stimulating hormone before planting. The fruits are very juicy and having a acidic flavor. They often sprinkled with sugar and eaten fresh, can also be used in a variety of desserts.

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