For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wild Pomegranate (Burchellia bubaline)

Family Rubiaceae
Distribution: The wild pomegranate grows naturally along the coastal strip of South Africa, from the Western Cape through to KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province. It is also found in Swaziland.
 The wild pomegranate is an attractive ornamental shrub/tree that is also used to attract nectar-feeding birds. The combination of its bright red flowers with the glossy, dark green leaves, creates a beautiful display in the small garden, both in shade and in full sun.
 Description: B. bubalina is a shrub or a small tree that grows up to 8 m tall. It grows naturally in forests, forest margins, rocky outcrops and bush clumps in montane grasslands.
 In early spring to mid-summer, the tree bears bright red to orange flowers in dense terminal clusters, and are followed by green, urn-shaped fruits that are also borne in dense clusters. The fruits are crowned with distinctive horn-like calyx lobes. The fruits turn brown as they ripen and then become woody, remaining on the tree for many months.
 Uses: This is a neat and attractive ornamental subject for most gardens. With the flowers containing sweet nectar, it is also good for attracting birds to the garden. When the tree is in full bloom, it bears a superficial resemblance to the true pomegranate, hence the common name, wild pomegranate.

B. bubalina has a hard, dense and close-grained wood which is used to build huts. The wood is also used to make agricultural implements, like hoe handles and cattle yokes. Roots are taken as an emetic to cleanse the body. Roots are sometimes used in conjunction with some other plant parts to concoct a love charm. Combination of both bark and roots make suitable splints for binding fractured limbs of animals.