- The leaves of this remarkable tree provide food for Acraea horta caterpillars, which strip the branches to make way for new leaves that resemble those of the eponymous peach tree. The caterpillars are in turn eaten by Klaas’s, Diederick’s and red-chested cuckoos here in Cape Town. And if that’s not wildlife-friendly enough, insects pollinate the pretty pale yellow flowers and a variety of birds relish the fruit with its colourful orange seed coats!
- Flowering time: August-January
In your garden: If there’s one tree that will attract biodiversity to your garden, this is it. As a fast-growing pioneer, it is easy to grow and serves as a windbreak in coastal areas, or grows to a large tree of 8-12m in more sheltered gardens. Plant in full sun to semi-shade, water well to establish and add a thick layer of compost or wood chip mulch.
Distribution: Cape Peninsula to Kenya, from the coast to inland forest, often along streams but also on dry slopes. Within their range they play an essential role in supporting the return of wildlife to highly transformed urban areas. Besides being key contributors to Cape Town’s green lungs, their prevalence in the Zandvlei catchment helps take pressure off the Critically Endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos at Tokai Park by offering shaded trails for walkers in the Constantia greenbelts.
Image: Acraea horta butterflies on fresh leaves of Kiggelaria africana ©️ Caitlin von Witt
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
There are many different ways for you to get involved in Cape Town’s locally indigenous greening movement: you can plant your own LIFE garden, volunteer your time, donate money or other resources, fundraise, or shop for botanical products in support of our organisation.
Sponsors & Partners
- Mapula Trust
- City of Cape Town Environmental Management
- City of Cape Town Recreation and Parks
- CTEET (Cape Town Environmental Education Trust)
- SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute)
- WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa)
- Friends of Tokai Park
- Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts
- Keurboom Park Association
- Happy By Nature
- CoralBloom Studio
- Zandvlei Trust
- Botanical Society of South Africa
- NCC (Nature Conservation Corporation)
- Good Hope Gardens Nursery
- JL Treefell
- Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei
- Princessvlei Forum
- South Peninsula Conservation
- Friends of Park Island