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Kiggelaria africana, Wild peach

Kiggelaria africana

Wild peach
Family: Salicaceae   (Formerly:Flacourtiaceae)
Origin: South Africa
Big tree > 20 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterModerate waterWhite/off-white flowersSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Well-shaped and reasonably robust, the low-branching, wild peach has smooth, pale grey bark that becomes rough with age. The variable leaves of this evergreen tree may resemble those of the peach. The tiny, bell-shaped flowers which bloom from August to January (spring to summer), are yellow-green, with male and female flowers on separate trees. The hard, round, knobbly, greenish yellow capsule which forms in February to July (late summer to mid-winter) splits to expose shiny black seeds, enclosed in an oily, sticky, bright orange-red coat.

The hardish, pink-brown wood is a useful general purpose timber (beams, floorboards, furniture).

Reasonably frost-hardy, it likes a moderate amount of water, and a place in the sun. Always add plenty of compost to the soil when planting, and apply a thick mulch layer (organic material, e.g. dried leaves) to protect the surface of the soil. This tree grows in both summer and winter rainfall areas. It tolerates temperatures ranging from about - 2 C to +36C.

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