The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Flat Crown

Afrikaans name: Platkroon

Flat Crown

Flat Crown tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Albizia adianthifolia

The Flat Crown is a magnificent tree that can reach a height of 25 metres. It's spreading form and flat top are well known and it is one of the distinctive trees of Africa, but not all specimens have flat crowns.

It is interesting to note that the bark of the Flat Crown is poisonous. The leaves, which are up to 2 cm in length, are almost rectangular in shape and are quite distinctive. It gets fluffy greenish-white flowers, which are sweet smelling, during spring. The seedpods are around 10 cm in length and are of an elongated oval shape.

Flat Crown leaves

Photo © Steven Herbert

The Flat Crown prefers areas with high rainfall and sandy areas. It is most often found in areas of coastal lowland forest. In South Africa it occurs in the former Transkei region of the Eastern Cape, through KwaZulu-Natal and up into Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The leaves of this tree are eaten by Elephant. Smaller animals such as Blue Duiker feed on fallen seedpods and seeds. Many different species of butterfly are attracted to the flowers. The wood of the tree is used for parquet floor tiles and to make poles which are used in the building of huts. The Flat Crown can be grown for seed and makes a good tree to have in a spacious garden.

Flat Crown bark

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 118

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 256

Wild Issue 42 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 80

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2013 - Page: 28

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - 2nd edition - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 2004 - Page: 128

Sasol First Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1999 - Page: 15

Piet van Wyks Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 1st edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 1988 - Page: 50

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - 5th edition - Author: Piet van Wyk - Published: 2008 - Page: 50

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 30

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 132

Butterfly Gardening in South Africa - Author: Jill Reid - Published: 2000 - Page: 70


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