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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Shepards Tree (Boscia albitrunca)

Family Capparaceae

Up to 7m in height and found growing in the arid regions of the Northern Cape.

The roots are ground into meal for porridge.
The species has a number of pollinators and is a source of food for various mammals, birds and butterflies. Livestock as well as other herbivores in savanna areas such as giraffe, gemsbok and kudu browse the tree. The tree is often a food plant for the larvae of butterflies (the family Pteridae-whites).

The root is pounded to make porridge. It is commonly used as a substitute for coffee or chicory. The root is also used to make a beer and to treat haemorrhoids. The leaves are nutritious and are often browsed by cattle, although the milk is then said to be tainted. An infusion of the leaves is used to treat eye infections in cattle. The fruits are used in traditional dishes and the flower buds as caper substitutes in pickles. It is said that if the fruits wither before the millet crop is ripe, the harvest will be a failure. Household utensils are made from the wood. If the wood is burnt, it is believed that cows will produce only bull calves