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Interesting powderpuff-like pink flowers make this plant unforgettable. Shrub up to 9ft high with grey bark and solitary thorns often bearing one or two leaves. Leaves bipinnate and finely pubescent, 1" to 3" long. Pendulous flower heads that are pink in the upper part and yellow in the lower part. Dark-brown pods, borne in clusters, twisted, each 1" to 3" long and 1" broad. Good plant for bonsai.
These hardy drought-resistant plants appear as a spine-encrusted mass of branches.
The spiny, succulent stems initially grow along the ground, bearing small deciduous green leaves when in active growth.
Dioon spinulosum has pinnate leaves that grow to about 5-7 ft (1.5-2.1 m) in length and radiate out from the trunk. The 120-240 leaflets on each leaf are small and flat, have small thorns and taper to a sharp point.
Giant Dioon work very well as ornamental in gardens in appropriate zones (Hardiness Zones: 9b-11). The growth rate allows for saplings to quickly mature onto decently sized plants, and they grow in easily predictable forms.
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.