Scientific Name – Dovyalis caffra
Synonim – Aberia caffra, Aberia edulis.
Common name(s) – Kei-apple, umkokolo, appelkoosdoring, mahlono, mutunu.
Distribution and Habitat – is indigenous to the southern regions of Africa, including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.
Description – shrub or small tree, dioecious, 3-5 m, rarely to 8 m. Bark grey and smooth, flaking in square patches on larger trees; branches with strong spines to 6 cm long. Leaves in tight clusters on short lateral branchlets; obovate or oblong, 3 -5 x 1.5-2.5 cm; glossy green above, paler below; young leaves sparsely hairy, mature leaves hairless; petiole to 0.5 cm long. Flowers, male flower small, creamy-green, in dense clusters on short lateral shoots; female flowers in sparse clusters of 1-4 on longer stalks. Flowering to Novembre-January. Fruit large, 2.5-5 cm, round, velvety; bright yellow when ripe with a short stalk and short styles that persist; they contain 5-15 seeds. Pollination is by insect.
Growth rate – moderath growth, 60 cm/year. Starts to fruit when at least 3-5 years old.
Tolerances – is extremely drought resistant and also tolerate salinity, even ocean spray; tolerate -5°C. Cannot tolerate damp sites.
Requirements – prefers well-drained soils, full sun or partial shade.
Management – it responds well to pruning.
Propagation – by seed, but this is not recommended for purposes of fruit production. Viability maintained for every 2 years in hermetic at 5 °C. 24 000 seminte/kg. Germinate within 12-20 days and are easily transplanted. Seeds should be sown immediately in nursery beds. Young plants must be protected for the 1st 2 years.
The plant can be propagated from semisoft cuttings, such techniques assure the fruit quality, and relative thorniness. Vegetative propagation yields fruits about 2 years earlier than seedlings.
Pest and Diseases – larvae of the African leopard butterfly, Phalanta phalanta feed on the leaves.
Garden Partners – the plant exhibits allelopathy, its roots excreting chemicals that discourage the growth of other plants in its vicinity.
Properties and Uses - fruit edible, with a high vitamin C content (80-120 mg/g), potassium (600 mg), and makes an excellent jam.
Widely cultivated for fruits and as a hedge.
Dovyalis caffra can be spaced close together to form an impenetrable hedge around homesteads and garden to keep out animals.
Leaves browsed by antelope.
The wood is white, dense and heavy.
Ernst Schmidt, Mervyn Looter, Warren McCleland – Trees and Shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park – Jacana Mediam, 2002
Geoff Nichols, David Johnson, Sally Johnson – Down to earth: Gardening with Indigenous Shrubs – Struik Publishers, 2006
Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull – The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts – CABI Publishing, 2007
National Research Council – lost Crops of Africa – National Academy Press, 2008
Steve Woodhall - Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa – Struik Publishers, 2005
Trees and shrubs
Hibiscus syriacus - shrub to 3 m high, native of India and China, naturalized in southern Europe. cultivated as an ornamental tree in parks and public gardens, the street alignments or as hedges.
Thevetia peruviana - leandru yellow
Evergreen shrub, 6 m high. Stem erect, cylindrical, branched, smooth, green, presents latex. Leaves simple subsesile, alternate, arranged spiral limb linear, entire edge, top acute, glabra, 8-16 cm long.
Prunus armeniaca - apricot
Prunus armeniaca - shrub or small tree, native of northeastern China, knew and cultivated worldwide for its edible fruit.
The seeds of Prunus armeniaca extract oil used in perfume industry, cosmetics and pharmacy.
Pimenta racemosa (Mill.) JWMoore
Shrub or small tree, 7.5-15 m high; ritidom thin, scaly, producing a scaly trunk. Leaves pungent rum, obovata to elliptic, 3-15 x 1.2-7.5 cm, acute to round at the narrow top, coriacee.
Angophora hispida Blaxell
Shrub or small tree, 4-5 m high. Gray-red bark at first smooth, exfoliating in due course. Leaves opposite, Sesia or short stalks, cordiform, 5-10 x 2.5-4.5 cm, pale green, pubescent. 3.7 flowers in a corymb, 10-15 cm diameter. Sepa free (dialisepal), green, petals free (dialipetal), white cream. Blooming in January. Fruit capsule.
Shrub or small tree, 1-5 m height, stalk Rosietici, smooth or slightly ribbed or tubers, glauca, purple. Leaves with lamina narrow-lanceolata, lanceolata or narrow-oblong-elliptical, 8-21 x 3.8 cm, the attenuated cuneata, top acute or obtuse, petiole up to 5 mm long. Petals 2-3, 8.12 mm long, ovata.
Impatiens balsamina - a species herbaceous annual, native to China and India. cultivated as ornamental plants in parks and gardens. It can be grown as potted plants, but watered regularly.
Teline nervosa - endemic of the Canary Islands, rape increases from 650 to 700 m altitude, in association with Aeonium undulatum, Carlina salicifolia, Crambe pritzelii, Hypericum canariensis, Olea europaea subsp. cerasiformis, Sonchus leptocephalus.
Aquilegia fragrans - fragrant caldarea
Herbaceous perennial. Roots thin. Stem 30-100 cm tall, branched, slightly pubescent on the underside, becoming glandular-pubescent in the upper. Basal leaves bi or tri-Ternate, glauca, lobes 2-3-lobate, 1.5-4 x 1.5-4 cm, base cuneata, obovata, glabra green glauca and upper face, and pale green inside pubescent, hairy stalks.