The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Water Ironplum / Water Drypetes

Afrikaans name: Waterysterpruim

Close-up of the leaves

Water Ironplum tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Drypetes arguta

The Water Ironplum, also known as the Water Drypetes, is a small tree or shrub that reaches a maximum height of 8 to 10 metres. In South Africa it is found along the coastal and low lying areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Beyond South Africa's borders it can be found in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

As its name suggests it is associated with water and is often found near streams. It occurs in habitats coastal and evergreen forests.

The bark of the Water Ironplum is grayish are brighter on top than underneath. It flowers during November and December but the greenish flowers are not that obvious. The orange-red fruit appears between March and May.


Leaves of the Water Ironplum

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 186

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 212

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 478


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