The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Tassel-berry tree

Afrikaans name: Voelsitboom

Tassel-berry

Above - Fruit of a Tassel-berry tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Antidesma venosum

The Tassel-berry tree gets its name from its bunches of fruit that hang down from smaller branches. The fruit is eaten by many different species of birds. Mammals such as Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Kudu and Nyala eat the berries as well. The fruit starts off green and becomes dark-red when ripe. The flowers are red.

The tree normally only grows to a height of about 5 metres, although some individuals can reach 7 metres. In other areas the tree can be less than a metre in height and is little more than a shrub.

For many years us humans have found medicinal uses for the roots and leaves of the Tassel-berry. Amongst these are treatments for heart disease, upset stomachs, coughing and fertility. It is a good choice of tree for your garden if you live in a suitable area. They are attractive, especially when full of fruit.

The Tassel-berry tree is found along the eastern regions of South Africa. Its distribution extends into Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and beyond.

Tassel-berry

Above - Leaves of a Tassel-berry tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 482

The Natal Bushveld - Volume 1 - Author: Natal Parks Board - Published: 1981 - Page: 55

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 216

Sappi Wild Flower Guide - Mpumalanga and Northern Province - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1996 - Page: 113

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - 2nd edition - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 2004 - Page: 140

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 125

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 158

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 125

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 186

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 49


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