The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Pambati Tree

Afrikaans name: Pambatieboom

Leaves of a Pambati Tree

Pambati Tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Anastrabe integerrima

The Pambati Tree is more of a large shrub than a tree. It normally grows to a height of 3 to 7 metres, but some specimens reach 12 metres. In South Africa this tree is found in coastal areas in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Its preferred habitats are forests, including forest margins, and on rocky outcrops. It is apparently related to the flowers known as Snapdragons although there is no resemblance between the two.

Pambati Trees grow in a variety of shapes. Even its leaves come in different shapes! The colour of the leaves is more consistent. They are green above and brownish below. They flower in summer through to early winter. The flowers are custard yellow in colour with red centres. They are 15 mm or less in size, bell-shaped, and form in clusters along the stems. The fruit is around 8 mm in length.

Pambati Tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

These trees can be grown from seeds or by cutting off a branch and planting it in the soil. Because it doesn’t grow into a big tree it is sometimes included in smaller gardens in coastal areas. Their wood may be hard and resistant to termites, but it is not used for too many purposes. Butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Bark of the Pambati Tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 311

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 448

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 1003


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