The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Giant Raisin

Afrikaans name: Reuserosyntjie

A Giant Raisin tree in Kruger National Park

Giant Raisin

Photo © Steven Herbert

Grewia hexamita

The Giant Raisin is a small tree that only reaches 5 metres in height. It is normally between 2 and 4 metres in height. It has a rather patchy distribution being found in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, parts of Mozambique and Tanzania.

The main stem is short and is often crooked. The leaves are green on top and yellowish underneath. The underside of the leaves are covered with short yellowish hairs but there are no hairs on top. After the spring rains it gets beautiful yellow flowers which are around 4 cm wide. The Giant Raisin gets yellowish fruit that are nearly 2 cm in length. I wonder how it got the name 'Giant Raisin' but it could be because the fruit tends to dry on the tree and becomes black.

The fruit is eaten by various birds and mammals such as Giraffe, Kudu and Elephant eat the leaves. The leaves can be fed to livestock. The wood is heavy.

The leaves of a Giant Raisin tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

The bark of a Giant Raisin tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 157

Sappi Wild Flower Guide - Mpumalanga and Northern Province - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1996 - Page: 133

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 308

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 690

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 157


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