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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Coast Red Milkwood (Mimusops caffra)

Family Sapotaceae
EcologyThe red or orange-red fruits are the staple food of the monkeys along the coastal forests of KwaZulu-Natal . Cape parrots in the coastal forests of the Eastern Cape are also fond of the fruit. Blackbellied glossy starlings, Yellowstreaked bulbuls and bushpigs also eat the fruit. Monkeys in particular spread the seed.
Uses and cultural aspectsIn KwaZulu-Natal, Mimusops caffra is considered a royal timber tree of excellent quality. Its tough timber is in demand for local boat-building. The wood is also used to make the framework of the large conical fish trap that fishermen use.
DistributionIts natural habitat is dune forest from the high tide mark in KwaZulu-Natal and the former Transkei region. It is also found in Mozambique . This tree is common from Port Alfred and Bathurst in Eastern Cape to Maputo in Mozambique . It forms up to 75% of the coastal and dune forest and flourishes even within reach of the salty sea sprays. It is found in abundance in Durban as it grows along coastal roads to the north and south.



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