- Combretum – a name originally given by Pliny to a climbing plant of another genus.
- kraussii – after Dr. Christian F.F. von Krauss (1812 – 1890), who first collected this plant.
- A small to medium tree, single stemmed with well shaped crown.
- Small, creamy-white flowers are borne on dense, short spikes in the leaf axils.
- The leaves surrounding the flowers may lose their chlorophyll and turn white while the tree is flowering.
- Evergreen to semi-evergreen.
- Leaves surrounding the flowers may be white, otherwise dark, shiny green.
- Simple elliptic or oblong-elliptic leaves are carried on short lateral twigs.
- Leaf margin is entire, wavy and rolled under.
- Leaf veins are conspicuous.
- Leaves turn brilliant autumn colours before dropping as late as September as new leaves are forming.
- The characteristic four-winged fruit are smallish (2 * 2 cm).
- They stay on the tree for a long time.
- The wings are pinkish to dark red, drying to a reddish brown.
- Each fruit has one wrinkled seed that looks a bit like a small walnut.
- The grey to dark grey bark is smooth, becoming flaky with age.
- A very attractive feature or shade tree for gardens, pavements and parks.
- A good screening tree.
- The change in leaf colours highlight the changing seasons in the garden.
- Ideal for planting along driveways or in paving as roots are unlikely to lift paving.
- Will make a good container tree if fed and watered regularly.
- Fast growing, up to 1 m per year.
- Protect from cold while young, but quite hardy once established.
- A low maintenance plant.
- May be pruned up when young to form a perfect shade tree.
- Feed annually with organic fertilizer and mulch with compost.
- Protect young plants against the cold in winter.
Cold Hardiness: Semi-tender when young, mature trees are hardy.
- Likes regular water but will withstand drought.
- A water-wise tree.
Light Requirements: Sun or shade.
Roots: The roots are not aggressive.
- Used by birds for roosting, nesting and foraging for insects.
- The seeds may be eaten by some birds.
- Bees visit the flowers for nectar.
- Adult butterflies visit the flowers for nectar.
- Powdered roots are used as an enema to cleanse the system or as a tonic to improve the appetite.
- The wood is yellowish and is tough.
- The sawdust is irritating to some people’s skin and may cause blistering.
- Found in the EC, KZN, Swa, M, L and extreme south of Moz.
- Endemic to southern Africa.
- Forests, savanna-bushveld and grasslands.
- Grows in Afromontain forests, rocky outcrops and in woody ravines.
© Malcolm Dee Hepplewhite & Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery, (Text and Photographs) 2013 & 2018.