The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Glossy White Ash

Afrikaans name: Blinkblaar-witessenhout

Leaves of a Glossy White Ash tree

Leaves of the Glossy White Ash tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bersama lucens

The Glossy White Ash is a smallish tree that doesn't reach a height of more than 10 metres. It is found along the eastern regions of South Africa from East London to the southern boundary of Mpumalanga.

The Glossy White Ash can be found in forest, coastal dunes, as well as rocky areas. It is also present in some areas of bushveld.

The bark is rough and somewhat variable in colour. Pale grey is the normal colour, but they can be brown. New leaves are reddish-brown. The leaves are quite robust. It has between 1 and 3 pairs of leaflets and then a larger leaf at the end of the stalk. The veins of the leaves are conspicuously yellow.

The flowers of the Glossy White Ash appear between September and May. They are small and greenish white in colour. The fruit is green with red seeds and is eaten by monkeys and birds.

Leaves of a Glossy White Ash tree

Bark of the Glossy White Ash tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

The Glossy White Ash is popular with gardeners. It can be used as a hedge, and it attracts birds and butterflies. It is easily grown from seed. It is believed to have medicinal properties and is widely used to treat impotency and barrenness as well as to treat menstrual pains.

References and further reading

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 292

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 660

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