The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Common Corkwood tree

Afrikaans name: Kanniedood

Common Corkwood tree

Bark of the Common Corkwood

Photo © Steven Herbert

Commiphora pyracanthoides

The Common Corkwood is a smallish tree that grows to a height of 5 to 6 metres. The trunk of the tree shows paper-like strips of bark which peel off. The leaves are bluish-green.

The flowers of the Common Corkwood are small. The fruit is small (around 1 cm) and berry-like and it goes reddish-brown when ripe.

The Common Corkwood prefers hotter areas with sell-drained sandy soil.

The gum given off by this tree can be boiled and then used as a soap for washing clothes. Some people use the resin as a hair straightener. The roots of the Common Corkwood contain a lot of water and some mammals, such as the Cape Porcupine and Elephant, sometimes dig them up to gain access to the liquid.

References and further reading

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 438

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 46

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 194

Sappi Tree Spotting: Lowveld - Author: Jacana - Published: 1997 - Page: 148


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