The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Small Bride's Bush / Narrow-leaved Bride's-bush

Afrikaans name: Smalblaarbruidsbos

Clusters of white flowers

Small Bride's Bush

Photo © Steven Herbert

Pavetta gracilifolio

The Small Bride's Bush is found in KwaZulu-Natal and portions of Mpumalanga. It can be found in various habitats including forest margins, bushveld, and grassland. It is often found amongst rocks.

The bark of the Small Bride’s Bush is pale grey. The leaves are variable in size but may be up to 5 cm in length. They are elongated with pointed tips. Sometimes the leaves have hairs.

When in flower it is not hard to imagine why it got the common name of Bride's Bush. It gets clusters of attractive white flowers which wouldn't look out of place at a wedding. The flowers appear in December through to March but in some areas, they may be present all year round. The subsequent fruit is 8 mm in diameter.

The Small Bride's Bush barely reaches a height of 3 metres, but most are smaller. It is interesting that some tree books do not include this species while some flower books do include it. In cooler areas they may be considered for use as a garden plant. The bush itself takes on an untidy form but the flowers are the main attraction.

The leaves

Leaves of the Small Bride's Bush

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 1119

A Field Guide to Wild Flowers in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 2005 - Page: 204

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