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, November 28, 2014

Umzimbeet (Millettia grandis)

 Family Fabaceae
 A tall tree which can grow to 25m indigenous to the KwaZulu Natal region.
 Umzimbeet's hard wood with its attractive coloration is valued for the manufacture of furniture and small domestic implements. Today it is used for making tough, bicoloured walking sticks which are sold to tourists.
It can also be used as a windbreak and harvested at 10-15 years for planks in high rainfall areas. It also makes an attractive garden and street tree and it does not have an aggressive root system.
 It can be planted along pastures and fence lines to act as a windbreak and shelters for animals. The stems are easily cut into planks when fresh. The only animals to utilize the plants are baboons who strip and eat the bark, and some butterflies whose larvae feed on the pods.
 The powdered root can be used as a fish poison, but fish must be boiled before consumption. The ground seed soaked in milk is used as a remedy for roundworm, but with caution as consuming too many seeds is poisonous. It is reported that a mixture of roots with those of Croton species with one part of lion's fat and one part of python's fat is burnt in the house as a tranquilizer to dispel worries; other recipes exist for sleep-inducing cures based on the roots. Ground seed can be used as an arrow poison.