The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Puzzle Bush

Afrikaans name: Deurmekaarbos

Branches of a Puzzle Bush

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ehretia rigida

The branches of this small tree tend to droop and criss-cross which gives rise to its common name of Puzzle Bush.

The Puzzle Bush can reach a height of 9 metres but it can be little more than a shrub.

It is found mostly in the eastern half of South Africa as well as in Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.

In Spring the Puzzle Bush gets mauve, white or blue flowers which appear in clusters.

The fruit is round and red or orange in colour. It turns black when ripe. Various animals eat the fruit.

Leaves of the Puzzle Bush

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 100

A Field Guide to the Eastern Cape Coast - Author: R. Lubke, F. Gess & M. Bruton - Published: 1988 - Page: 219

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 307

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 169

Gardening with Indigenous Shrubs - Author: David and Sally Johnson, Geoff Nichols - Published: 2002 - Page: 49

Indigenous Garden Plants of Southern Africa - Author: Glenice Ebedes - Published: 2017 - Page: 76

SA Wild Flower Guide No 6 - Karoo - Author: David Shearing & Katryn van Heerden - Published: 1997 - Page: 122

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 974

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 207

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 440

Sappi Wild Flower Guide - Mpumalanga and Northern Province - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1996 - Page: 170

Sappi Tree Spotting: Highveld and the Drakensburg - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 1998 - Page: 272

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