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Type of tree

26 September 2014

www.leopard.tv

 

QUESTION:

What type of tree is this?

 

ANSWER:

Wild pear trees Dombeya rotundifolia with their characteristic white flowers that appear before the leaves are already flowering, the first type of tree to do so in the bushveld after the winter cold. The wood of this type of tree is hard and was used for implements in early years, while the roots and bark were used for medicinal purposes. The wild pear tree is the food plant for the catterpillars of the ragged skipper butterfly Caprona pillaana which occurs in the northern parts of South Africa northwards from the northern Eastern Cape province. This butterfly is confined to regions where the wild pear tree grows.

Answer by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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