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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

White Syringa (Kirkia acuminata)

Family Simaroubaceae
This is a straight-stemmed tree with a fine, round , leafy crown. It grows from 6 to 18 m high with a trunk diameter of 0.8 m. The leaves are sticky when young, colouring splendidly to gold and red in autumn. The leaf is compound with 6-10 leaflets and one terminal one. The narrowly ovate leaflets are 20-80 x 10-25 mm, with or without hairs. The apex is narrowly tapering to a long point.

Kirkia acuminata flowers from October to December with small greenish cream flowers. The fruits are thinly woody capsules of about 10-20 x 6-10 mm that are 4-angled, and split into four seed pods when mature. Each seed pod contains a seed. The wood is yellowish brown, light and soft.
Uses and cultural aspects
According to Palmer & Pitman (1972), the white seringa is regarded as a sacred tree in some places in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean women also use the bark of the tree for weaving. In Gauteng, white seringa is planted around enclosures for livestock (kraals).
Kirkia acuminata extends from Gauteng, Botswana, Namibia, and to the north in Tanzania. It grows in the bushveld and lowveld of Gauteng in deep, sandy soil or on rocky hills.