Euphorbiaceae - Euphorbia family
SA Tree no 346
This tree prefers well-drained soils and is mostly found on granite outcrops, woody grasslands and scrub.
This is an evergreen tree, with no obvious leaves. The straight, tall, bare trunk and top branches for a candelabra shape. It is a small to medium size, 4 - 7 m, with sparse density. The branches do not split again, unlike the common tree Euphorbia. Old dead branches hang underneath the crown. It has paired thorns on the edges of the angular branches. Branches are tightly constricted, forming a string of hear-shaped segments. Holes of previous branch attachments are visible on the trunk.
Link with animals - The fruit is eaten by birds.
Human uses - The white, milky latex is poisonous and an irritant to humans and animals. It is used to stupefy fish, making it possible to catch them by hand.
Gardening - This tree can be grown in large, rocky, well-drained soil in gardens in drier areas, however, because of the latex and spines, is not advisable for a family garden. It can be grown from seed or cuttings, is very slow growing, very drought resistant but susceptible to frost.
Leaves - There are no visible leaves on this plant.
Flowers - The small yellow-green flowers are not true flowers. They are arranged in three parallel rows, with male flowers in the centre and bisexual flowers on the outside - May to August. (4 mm)
Fruit - The berry-like fruit, with a markedly 3- lobed capsule, green with reddish markings, changes from red to purple when ripe, in spring or early summer. September to October onwards. The flowering and fruiting times often overlap. (10 mm)
Thorns - There are paired thorns on the edges of the angular branches. (5 - 15 mm)
Best places to see the Transvaal Candelabra Tree in Southern Africa:
The Transvaal Candelabra Tree is found in the Kruger National Park in the Sabie Crocodile Thorn Thickets & Lebombo Mountain Bushveld ecozones.
Tree species of Southern Africa >> Printable Tree List <<
South African Trees >> Printable Tree List <<
The Plant Kingdom (Plantae)
Wildlife - Fauna & Flora of Southern Africa
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