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Ecoguard Species


Acacia caffra (Common Hook-thorn)

Common Hook-thorn (Gewonehaakdoring) has extremely hard, dense and attractive timber, and is only spared from intense exploitation because of its strongly twisted trunk which does not lend itself to long planks, and its tendency to develop heart rot. The bark is rough, dark grey and flaking, while the strong, paired hooked thorns are a formidable deterrent on young plants. Twigs which may vary in hairiness from densely puberulous to pubescent or tomentose. Due to its variability the species has been described under many names. In common with other Acacias and Senegalias, the bark and leaves are rich in tannins, while parts of the tree are used by the Bantu in traditional herbal medicine for curing a large range of complaints.

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Acacia cyclops (Rooikrans)

Native to Australia, it is found in locations exposed to coastal winds, red-eyed wattle grows as a dense, dome shaped shrub; this helps protect against salt spray, sand-blast and erosion of soil at the roots. When sheltered from the wind, it tends to grow as a small tree, up to seven metres high. Like many other Acacia species, red-eyed wattle has phyllodes rather than true leaves. The phyllodes range from four to eight centimetres long, and from six to twelve millimetres wide. Its flower heads are bright yellow spherical clusters. Very few flower heads are produced at a time, but flowering occurs over a long period, from early spring to late summer. This is unusual for Acacia species, which normally flower in one brief but impressive display.

Both the common and species names refer to the appearance of the pods when first open in late spring: each shiny black seed is encircled by a thick orange-red stalk, resembling a bloodshot eye.

Red-eyed wattle can be used to help stabilise coastal sands. It was introduced into Africa for this purpose, but it has spread rapidly and is now a serious pest in southern Africa, where it is known as rooikrans (in Afrikaans, "red garland"). The introduction of the gall-forming cecidomyiid Dasineura dielsi as a biological control has had limited success in the effective control of this weed.

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Acacia dealbata (Silver wattle)

It is a fast-growing evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 30 m tall, typically a pioneer species after fire. The leaves are bipinnate, glaucous blue-green to silvery grey, 1–12 cm (occasionally to 17 cm) long and 1–11 cm broad, with 6–30 pairs of pinnae, each pinna divided into 10–68 pairs of leaflets; the leaflets are 0.7–6 mm long and 0.4–1 mm broad. The flowers are produced in large  racemoseinflorescences made up of numerous smaller globose bright yellow flowerheads of 13–42 individual flowers. The fruit is a flattened pod 2–11.5 cm long and 6–14 mm broad, containing several seeds. Trees generally do not live longer than 30 to 40 years, after which in the wild they are succeeded by other species where bushfires are excluded. In most mountain areas, a white lichen can almost cover the bark, which may contribute to the descriptor "silver".

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Acacia decurrens (Green wattle)

Acacia decurrens is a fast-growing tree, reaching anywhere from 2 to 15 m (7–50 ft) high. The bark is brown to dark grey colour and smooth to deeply fissured longitudinally with conspicuous intermodal flange marks. The branchlets have longitudinal ridges running along them that are unique to the species. Young foliage tips are yellow.

Alternately arranged leaves with dark green on both side. Stipules are either small or none. Base of petiole swollen to form the pulvinus. Leaf blade is bipinnate. Rachis is 20-120mm long, angular and hairless. 15-45 pairs of widely spaced small leaflets (pinnules) are connected each other and 5–15 mm long by 0.4–1 mm wide, straight, parallel sided, pointed tip, tapering base, shiny and hairless or rarely sparsely hairy leaves.

The small yellow or golden-yellow flowers are very cottony in appearance and are densely attached to the stems in each head with 5–7 mm long and 60–110 mm long axillary raceme or terminal panicle. They are bisexual and fragrant. The flowers have five petals and sepals and numerous conspicuous stamens. Ovary is superior and has only one carpel with numerous ovules.

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Acacia erubescens (Blue thorn)

Blue thorn (Blouhaak) is a small to medium-sized tree which is often multi-stemmed. The thorns are hooked, about 6 cm long, in pairs at the nodes. The leaves are not large, with a raised gland near the base. It flowers in axillary spikes, white in summer, before or with the new leaves.

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Acacia karroo (Sweet thorn)

Acacia karroo, commonly known as the Sweet thorn, is a species of Acacia, native to southern Africa from southern Angola east to Mozambique, and south to South Africa.  

Common names in various languages include Acacia, Common acacia, Karoo thorn, Doringboom, Soetdoring, Cape gum, Cassie, Piquants blancs, Cassie piquants blancs, Cockspur thorn, Deo-babool, Doorn boom, Kaludai, Kikar, Mormati, Pahari Kikar, umuNga and Udai vel.

Acacia karroo has a rounded crown, branching fairly low down on the trunk. It is variable in shape and size, reaching a maximum of about 12m where there is good water. The bark is red on young branches, darkening and becoming rough with age. Sometimes an attractive reddish colour can be seen in the deep bark fissures. The leaves are finely textured and dark green. The abundant yellow flowers appear in early summer, or after good rains. The seed pods are narrow, flat and crescent shaped.

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Acacia longifolia (Long-leaved wattle)

The long-leaved wattle (Langblaarwattel) is an evergreen shrub or spreading tree 2-6m high, with long bright green leaves that have prominent longitudinal veins. Flowers are bright yellow and cylindrical in shape, growing up to 50mm long and 7mm wide, from July to September. Originating from Australia and Tasmania, the long-leaved was cultivated in South Africa for dune reclamation, and has spread along the coastal areas, where it competes with and replaces invasive species.

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Acacia mearnsii (Black wattle)

Acacia mearnsii is a fast-growing, extremely invasive leguminous tree native to Australia. Common names for it include black wattle, Acácia-negra (Portuguese), Swartwattel (Afrikaans), Uwatela (Zulu). This plant is now known as one of the worst invasive species in the world.

An evergreen tree growing 5-10m high, black wattle has dark olive-green finely hairy leaves. Pale yellow or cream spherical flowers in large fragrant sprays blooming from August to September. Fruits are dark brown, finely haired pods.

Black wattle has invaded grasslands, competing with and reducing indigenous species, and reducing grazing land for wild and domestic animals.

Reference:  www.invasives.org.za

 

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Acacia melanoxylon (Blackwood)

Australian blackwood has been introduced to many countries for forestry plantings and as an ornamental tree. It now is present in Africa, Asia, Europe, Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, South America and the United States. It is a declared noxious weed species in South Africa.

Sapwood may range in colour from straw to grey-white with clear demarcation from the heartwood. The heartwood is golden to dark brown with chocolate growth rings. The timber is generally straight grained but may be wavy or interlocked. The wood is lustrous and possesses a fine to medium texture.

The name of the wood may refer to dark stains on the hands of woodworkers, caused by the high levels of tannin in the timber.

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Acacia mellifera (Black thorn)

Acacia mellifera is a common thorn tree in Africa. The name mellifera refers to its sweet-smelling blossoms and honey. Its lumber turns pitch black when oiled. Common names of the tree include Blackthorn and Swarthaak (Afrikaans)

Acacia mellifera can occur either as a multi-trunked bush up to seven meters high with more or less a funnel-shaped crown, or as a single-trunked tree that can reach a height of up to nine meters. It can form an impenetrable thickets. In some areas of Africa, it is considered an invasive species as it can expand into and cover large ares of farmland.

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Acacia nilotica (Scented thorn)

Lekkerruikpeul or Scented thorn in South Africa is a species of Vachellia native to Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. It is also currently an invasive species of significant concern in Australia.

Vachellia nilotica is a tree 5–20 m high with a dense spheric crown, stems and branches usually dark to black coloured, fissured bark, grey-pinkish slash, exuding a reddish low quality gum. The tree has thin, straight, light, grey spines in axillary pairs, usually in 3 to 12 pairs, 5 to 7.5 cm (3 in) long in young trees, mature trees commonly without thorns. The leaves are bipinnate, with 3–6 pairs of pinnulae and 10–30 pairs of leaflets each, tomentose, rachis with a gland at the bottom of the last pair of pinnulae. Flowers in globulous heads 1.2–1.5 cm in diameter of a bright golden-yellow color, set up either axillary or whorly on peduncles 2–3 cm long located at the end of the branches. Pods are strongly constricted, hairy, white-grey, thick and softly tomentose.

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Acacia robusta (Splendid acacia)

Enkeldoring (Acacia robusta)

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Acacia saligna (Port jackson)

An evergreen tree, growing 3-7m high, with blue-green turning bright green leaves. Bright yellow, globe-shaped flowers bloom from August to November. Brown pods with hardened, whitish margins.

In South Africa, it proliferated at an uncontrollable rate, having been introduced in the nineteenth century to produce tan bark and to stabilise the sands of the Cape Flats outside Cape Town after the indigenous bush had largely been cut down for firewood. In addition to replacing indigenous fynbos vegetation, it also hampers agriculture. 

References:  www.invasives.org.za  Wikipedia

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Acacia tortilis (Umbrella thorn)

It grows up to 21 m (69 ft) in height. The tree carries leaves that grow to approx. 2.5 cm (1 in) in length with between 4 and 10 pair of pinnae each with up to 15 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are small and white, highly aromatic, and occur in tight clusters. Seeds are produced in pods which are flat and coiled into a springlike structure.

The plant is known to tolerate high alkalinity, drought, high temperatures, sandy & stony soils, strongly sloped rooting surfaces, and sand blasting. Also, plants older than 2 years have been observed to be somewhat frost resistant.

Spread over such a large area inhabited by diverse cultures, the A. tortilis is known by a wide number of common names. These include (but are not limited to):

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Anredera baselloides (Madeira vine)

Madeira vine is a long-lived (perennial), twining or climbing plant growing over taller plants. The stems are hairless (glabrous) and grow in a twining fashion. Distinctive greyish-brown or greenish-coloured warty tubers often form at the joints (nodes) along the older stems. These wart-like tubers are very characteristic.

This highly invasive weed and is capable of smothering and destroying indigenous vegetation. The climbing stems can envelop the canopy layer, while is trailing stems also smother the ground layer of invaded habitats. This reduces light penetration, eventually killing the plants underneath and preventing the germination and regeneration of native plants.

Reference:  www.invasives.org.za

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Arctotheca calendula (Cape weed)

Arctotheca calendula is a plant in the sunflower family commonly known as capeweed, plain treasureflower, cape dandelion, or cape marigold because it originates from the Cape Province in South Africa. It is also found in neighboring KwaZulu-Natal.

Arctotheca calendula is a squat perennial or annual which grows in rosettes and sends out stolons and can spread across the ground quickly. The leaves are covered with white woolly hairs, especially on their undersides. The leaves are lobed or deeply toothed. Hairy stems bear daisy-like flowers with small yellow petals that sometimes have a green or purple tint surrounded by white or yellow ray petals extending further out from the flower centers.

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Asclepias fruticosa (Shrubby milkwood)

Asclepias fruticosa is a species of milkweed native to South Africa. The plant's tissues contain sufficient cardenolides that consumption of significant quantities of the plant's leaves, stems, or fruit may lead to death in livestock and humans.

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Bidens pilosa (Black jack)

Bidens pilosa is an annual forb of gracile habit, growing up to 1.8 meters tall. It grows aggressively on disturbed land and often becomes weedy. The leaves are oppositely arranged and pinnate in form with three to five dentate, ovate-to-lanceolate leaflets. The petioles are slightly winged.

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Caesalpinia decapetala (Mauritius Thorn)

A thorny evergreen shrub growing 2-4m high or climbs to 10 or higher with small bi-pinnate leaves which are dark green and paler underneath. The flowers are pale yellow in colour and appear as small tufted balls which flower from May-November.

Common names:  mysore thorn; shoofly; kraaldoring (Afrikaans); ufenisi; ubobo-encane (isiZulu)

Reference:  www.invasives.org.za

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Campuloclinium macrocephalum (Pom-pom weed)

The pom pom weed is an erect perennial with green stems up to 1,3m high. It dies back annually to a root crown. Pink flowerheads surrounded by purple bracts in compact heads appear from December to March. This plant is native to Central and South America.

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Casuarina equisetifolia (Beefwood)

A large evergreen tree with needle-like leaves similar to pine trees growing to between 20-38m high. Leaves: Thin, needle-like leaves similar to that of pine trees and the scales have a transverse brown band. Flowers: Male and female flowers differ with male flowers consisting of a yellowish spike up to 20mm long and female flowers have globose reddish heads. Flowering occurs from September-April. Fruit/Seeds: Produces brown woody cones about 20mm long and the seeds are flattened in profile.

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Cestrum laevigatum (Inkberry)

Inkberry is an evergreen shrub or tree growing 1-2m high, but reaching 15m or more along the coastal regions. This poisonous plant has lance-shaped leaves and greenish-yellow, tube-shaped flowers, which appear from October to May.

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Chromolaena odorata (Triffid Weed)

Scrambling, sparsely hairy shrub up to 4m or higher, often forming dense thickets with wide-spreading branches. Light green leaves, often yellowish which smell strongly of turpentine or paraffin when crushed. White or pale blue cylindrical flowers appear from June to July. It produces straw-coloured, bristly fruits and this plant is poisonous.

Alternative common names:
Paraffin weed; Armstrong’s weed; Eupatorium; Chromolaena; Siam weed (English); paraffienbos (Afrikaans); usandanezwe (isiZulu)

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Cirsium vulgare (Scotch thistle)

Spiny, herbaceous biennial which forms a large, flat rosette of leaves and a deep tap root in the first year and numerous branched stems up to 1,5m high in the second year. Stems have spiny wings. Dark green leaves with stiff hairs above and white woolly beneath. Pink to mauve thistle-like flowers surrounded by spiny bracts appear from September to April. This plant invades grassland, roadsides, vlei and dam margins and river banks in cool, high rainfall areas

Alternative common names:
Spear thistle; bull thistle; plume thistle (English); daggapit; speerdissel; Skotse dissel; disseldoring; karmedik; skaapdissel (Afrikaans); hlaba (Sesotho); ntsoa-ntsane (Setswana)

Reference:  www.invasives.org.za


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Colophospermum mopane

Colophospermum mopane, commonly called mopane, mophane, mopani, balsam tree, butterfly tree, or turpentine tree, is a tree in the legume family (Fabaceae), that grows in hot, dry, low-lying areas, 200 to 1,150 metres in elevation, in the far northern parts of southern Africa. The tree only occurs in Africa and is the only species in genus Colophospermum. Its distinctive butterfly-shaped (bifoliate) leaf and thin seed pod make it easy to identify.

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Conyza albida (Tall fleabane)

Conyza sumatrensis is an annual herb probably native to South America, but widely naturalised in tropical and subtropical regions, and regarded as an invasive weed in many places.

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Dichapetalum cymosum (Poison Leaf)

Dichapetalum cymosum, commonly known as Gifblaar from Afrikaans, or occasionally its English translation, poison leaf, is a small prostrate shrub occurring in the northern parts of Southern Africa. It is notable as a common cause of lethal cattle poisoning in this region and is considered one of the 'big 6' toxic plants of cattle in South Africa. A 1996 estimate of plant poisonings in South Africa attributes 8% of cattle mortality caused by poisonous plants to gifblaar.

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Dichrostachys cinerea (Sekelbos / Sickle bush)

Dichrostachys cinerea, known as sickle bush (sekelbos) is a semi-deciduous to deciduous tree characterized by bark on young branches, dark grey-brown fissures on older branches and stems and smooth on the spines. They typically grow up to 7 metres (23 ft) in height and have strong alternate thorns, generally up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long. Flowers of the Dichrostachys cinerea are characteristically in bicoloured cylindrical spikes that resemble Chinese lanterns and are 6–8 cm long and fragrant.[6] Upper flowers of a hanging spike are sterile, and are of a lilac or pale purple. Pods are usually a mustard brown and are generally twisted or spiralled and may be up to 100 × 15 mm.

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Elytropappus rhinocerotus (Slangbos)

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Eucalyptus cladocalyx (Sugar gum)

A tall slender, evergreen tree growing 15-40m high with smooth, flaky, tan-coloured bark. The dark green leaves are glossy above and pale below and the foliage is concentrated at the end of the branches. Cream flowers appear from October to February and the tree produces brown fruit capsules. The leaves are poisonous producing prussic acid. This tree invades fynbos, forest clearings, plantations, water courses and roadsides.

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Eucalyptus diversicolor (Karri)

A tall, dense, massively branched, evergreen tree 25-58m high with smooth bark that is grey-blue in colour with orange-yellow blotches. Dark green leaves which are glossy above and distinctly paler beneath. Cream flowers appear from May to December. The fruit capsules are globular and brown. This tree invades forest clearings, fynbos, roadsides and water courses.

The botanical name diversicolor means “separate colours” and refers to the difference between the top of the leaf and its underside while the common name is derived from the aboriginal name for the tree.

References: www.invasives.org.za  Wikipedia

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Eucalyptus dunnii (White gum)

Eucalyptus dunnii, commonly known as the white gum, is a tree native to New South Wales and Queensland in southeastern Australia.

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Eucalyptus grandis (Saligna gum)

A tall, evergreen tree with a shaft-like trunk 25-55m high with smooth bark except for the part of the trunk up to 4m from the ground. The bark peels in long, thin strips to expose a powdery, white, grey-white or blue-grey surface. Dark green leaves which are glossy above and paler below. Cream flowers appear from April to August. Brown fruit capsules with a bluish-grey powdery surface. This tree invades forest clearings, plantations, water courses and roadsides.

Alternative common names:
bluegum; rose gum; saligna (English); salignabloekom (Afrikaans)

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Eucalyptus lehmannii (Spider gum)

Eucalyptus lehmannii, is a eucalypt in the myrtle family Myrtaceae endemic to the south-west of Western Australia.

Eucalyptus lehmannii is a sometimes multi-trunked mallee with smooth bark which is whitish grey to grey-brown and orange-brown and which sheds in strips.

The stems of young plants are initially triangular in cross-section with leaves that are alternate, oblong to elliptical or lance-shaped, 5–8 cm long and 1–3 cm wide, glossy green on the upper surface and dull blue-green below. Older stems are smooth and round with alternate leaves. The adult leaves have a petiole 0.1–1.5 cm long and a blade elliptical to oval-shaped, about 4.5–9.5 cm long and 0.7–2.8 cm wide and both surfaces glossy light to mid-green. The oil glands in the leaves common to all eucalypts, are obscure or scattered.

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Eucalyptus macarthurii (Woollybutt gum)

Eucalyptus macarthurii (Camden Woollybutt or Paddy's River Box) is a medium-size tree (to 45 m) endemic to New South Wales, Australia. It is native in the Moss Vale District and South of Jenolan.

The juvenile leaves are up to 4.5 cm wide. Adult leaves are more slender, up to 13 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. The bark is shortly fibrous.[1]

In the past it was commercially harvested for geranyl acetate, which was extracted from the bark using distillation.

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Eucalyptus maculata (Spotted gum)

Spotted Gum is a tall tree with a straight trunk, growing up to 45 metres in height (sometimes taller). Spotted Gum has smooth powdery bark which is white, grey or pink; often with characteristic patches ("spots"). The bark is shed in polygonal flakes.

The juvenile leaves are glossy green and elliptic to ovate, while the adult leaves are lanceolate and are 10 to 21 cm long and 1.5 to 3 cm wide.

The specific name maculata is derived from the Latin word maculosus, meaning "spotted" 

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Eucalyptus paniculata (Grey Iron Bark)

 A dark trunked forest tree with grey furrowed bark. When in flower, the nectar is attractive to birds and insects, and is used in honey production.

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Eucalyptus sideroxylon (Black Iron Bark)

The black ironbark, also known as the mugga or red ironbark, is a small to medium-sized, evergreen tree reaching 15-26m high. It has a moderately spreading crown and shallow roots that may outcompete adjacent plants. The bark is hard and deeply furrowed.

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Eucalyptus smithii (Blackbutt peppermint)

The species is widely grown in southern Africa, and its leaves are used for the production of distilled eucalyptus oil. The oil is high in cineole (75–84%)

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Euclea divinorum (Magic guarri)

Euclea divinorum is an evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 9 m high with male and female flowers on separate plants. It is single or multi-stemmed, with a rounded crown. Young stems are smooth and pale grey with rusty granules. The bark is grey-brown to black, rough and cracked longitudinally. The leaves are opposite or sub-opposite, alternate, broadest at or below the middle, 35–90 × 10–40 mm, tapering to the bases and apices, hard, leathery, hairless, shiny, grey- to olive-green, with the midribs raised below and margins conspicuously wavy. Leaf stalks are about 6 mm long.

Reference:  www.plantzafrica.com

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Harrisia martinii (Harrisia cactus)

Spiny, succulent shrub 1-3m high with long, much-branched stems often arching downwards and rooting where they touch the ground. Spines in groups, with one or two central spines much longer than the others. No leaves. Showy white nocturnal flowers appear from November to January. Bright pinkish-red, succulent berries

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Jacaranda mimosifolia

The best-known city tree in Johannesburg and Pretoria – a deciduous or semi-deciduous tree up to 22m high with a rounded, spreading crown. Dark green, hairy, finely divided and fern-like leaves which turn yellow in late autumn or winter. Attractive mauve-blue to lilac or rarely white, tubular flowers produced in pyramidal sprays at the ends of usually leafless branches, flowering from September-November. Oval, flattish, woody green capsules about 60mm long, which turn brown and split open after about a year to release numerous flat, winged seeds. It invades savanna, wooded kloofs, rocky ridges and river banks.

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Lantana camara

A spreading shrub or untidy scrambler growing up to 2m or higher. Stems usually covered with short, stiff hairs and recurved thorns. Dark green, rough, hairy leaves which are paler below and smell strongly when crushed. Pink, red, crimson, orange, yellow or white flowers in compact, flat-topped heads, often with several colours in one head, appear from September to April. Glossy green fruits which turn purplish-black. Poisonous.

Alternative common names:
Bird’s brandy; cherry pie; tick-berry (English), gewone lantana; gomdagga (Afrikaans), sumba (Shona); ubukhwebezane (isiZulu), ubutywala bentaka (isiXhosa)

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Leptospermum laevigatum (Australian myrtle)

A large, densely branched and untidy spreading small tree reaching up to 8m high. The old stems are twisted and furrowed with flaking bark. Dull greyish-green, leathery leaves with rounded tips which end in a tiny point. Solitary white flowers appear from August to October. The green fruit capsules turn yellow and then grey.

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Leucosidea sericea (Ouhout)

Leucosidea sericea, commonly known as ouhout in Afrikaans, is an evergreen tree or large shrub that grows in the Afromontane regions of southern Africa. It is the sole species in the genus Leucosidea. 

The ouhout is often a straggly shrub or a dense, small, evergreen tree, which grows up to 7m tall to 5m wide. It is single or multi-stemmed and branches low down. The bark is rough, reddish brown in colour and flakes off to reveal a smooth light brown under-bark. The leaves are alternately arranged, compound and covered with silky, silver hairs. 

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Ligustrum spp. (Privet)

Ligustrum vulgare (Oleaceae), an evergreen shrub or small tree 3-6m high. Dark, almost black-green, thick, leathery, glossy leaves sometimes variegated in green and yellow. Heavily, scented white flowers appear in large terminal clusters from October to February followed by shiny black berries. The leaves and fruits are poisonous even though birds eat the fruits.

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Lippia javanica

This 1 to 2m high woody shrub stands erect and is multi-stemmed. The stems have a square appearance when looked at in cross-section. The leaves are hairy with noticeable veins and when crushed gives off a strong lemon-like smell. It is said to be one of the most aromatic of South Africa's indigenous shrubs. The small cream flowers can be found on the shrub from summer to autumn in some areas and in others are produced all year. These flowers are arranged in dense, rounded flower heads. The fruit are rather inconspicuous, small and dry.

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Lopholeana coriifolia

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Medicago polymorpha (Burclover).

This weedy forb is an annual broadleaf plant. It inhabits agricultural land, roadsides and other disturbed areas. It is found in lawns as well, where its burrs are able to cling to the clothing or fur of any species that pass near it, thus facilitating geographic spread via these seed capsules. Burclover is forage for livestock, but the fruit is prickly. It makes for a poor lawn in the late summer, when the leaves have yellowed and fruit sets into the 7 mm seed heads that are covered with hooked prickles.

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Melia azedarach (Syringa)

A large spreading tree growing up to 23m high with reddish-brown, smooth bark. It has serrated dark glossy green leaves which turn yellow in autumn and clusters of purple to lilac flowers which are heavily scented and appear from September-November. Numerous green berries on turn yellow and wrinkled at the end of the season. The leaves, bark, flowers and ripe fruits are poisonous. This tree invades savanna, roadsides, urban open spaces, waste areas and river banks

Alternative common names:
Seringa; Persian lilac; bead tree; berry tree; Cape lilac; China berry; China tree; white cedar (English), maksering; sering; bessieboom (Afrikaans), umsilinga (isiZulu)

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Paraserianthus lophantha (Stinkbean)

A fine bi-pinnate leaved evergreen shrub or tree growing 4-6m high, somewhat resembling the large-leafed black wattle (Acacia mearnsii). The dark green leaves are paler below, up to 300 mm or longer and golden-hairy. Cream-coloured flowers appear in dense, bottlebrush-like heads from June-August followed by brown compressed seed pods with raised edges. The seeds emit a nauseating odour when crushed and this tree is poisonous. It invades forest margins, river banks, moist slopes in fynbos and wooded kloofs.

Alternative common names:
Australian albizia; Cape wattle; crested wattle; silk tree (English), stinkboon; sirus (Afrikaans)

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Parthenium hysterophorus (Demoina weed)

Famine Weed is an annual herb growing up to 1,5m high with an erect, longitudinally grooved, hairy stem and deep tap root. It has pale green, hairy leaves and small white flowers in compact heads, appearing from September to May. The whole plant is a skin and respiratory irritant. It invades roadsides, rail sides, water courses, cultivated fields and overgrazed land.

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Pentzia grandiflora (Karroo bush)

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Pereskia aculeata

A spiny, clambering vine with long slender branches, growing 2-10m or higher and superficially resembling a bougainvillea. The young stems and leaves are semi-succulent with pairs of short, hooked spines in the leaf axils. The older stems are woody with clusters of hard, straight spines 30-40mm long. Bright green to yellowish, lance-shaped leaves. White, cream or yellow flowers appear from March-July and are lemon-scented, followed by succulent berries about 20mm across which are initially green then turn yellow. It invades forest margins, clearings and plantations.

Alternative common names:
Barbados gooseberry; blade apple; leafy cactus, lemon vine, primitive cactus; Spanish gooseberry (English), pereskia; barbadosstekelbessie (Afrikaans), uqwaningi (isiZulu)

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Peuraria lobata (Kudzu vine)

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Phragmites australis (Common reeds)

Phragmites, the common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world.

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Populus canescens (Grey poplar)

Populus × canescens, the grey poplar, is a hybrid between Populus alba (white poplar) and Populus tremula (common aspen). It is intermediate between its parents, with a thin grey downy coating on the leaves, which are also much less deeply lobed than the leaves of P. albus. It is a very vigorous tree with marked hybrid vigour, reaching 40 m tall and with a trunk diameter over 1.5 m – much larger than either of its parents.

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Prosopis (Mesquite)

Multi-stemmed acacia-like shrub or small tree up to 10m high with paired, straight spines and reddish-brown branchlets. Dark green leaves with leaflets 10-25mm long. Yellow flower spikes from June to November. Yellowish to purplish, slender, straight, woody pods. Pods poisonous and pollen is a respiratory tract irritant.

Prosopis trees are extravagant users of readily available ground-water and dense stands could seriously affect the hydrology of the ecosystems they invade. Dense stands compete with and replace indigenous woody and grassland species. Dense stands produce few pods and thus replace natural pasturage without providing pods in return. Dense stands are virtually impenetrable, restricting the movement of domestic and wild animals and causing injuries.

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Protasparagus spp. (Katbos)

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Psidium guajava (Guava)

Evergreen shrub or small tree up to 10m high with hairy branchlets. Bronze turning light green leaves that are hairy below and have conspicuous veins. White flowers in groups of 1-3 from October to December. Green turning yellow fruits with white, yellow or pink flesh and a musky odour

Alternative common names:
Koejawel (Afrikaans)

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Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken fern)

Pteridium aquilinumPteridium aquilinum (bracken, brake or common bracken), also known as "eagle fern," is a species of fern occurring in temperate and subtropical regions in both hemispheres. The extreme lightness of its spores has led to its global distribution.

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Ricinus communis (Castor Oil Plant)

This plant is an annual shrub or small tree with a softly woody stem growing up to 4m high with leaf and flowering stalks often with a grey bloom. The shiny, dark green or reddish leaves are paler below and star-shaped with serrated margins. Upper flowers are reddish and lower flowers cream. Green, brown or reddish, three-lobed capsules covered with soft spines. The whole plant is poisonous.

Alternative common names:
Castorbean, wonder tree (English); kasterolieboom, bloubottelboom, bosluisboom (Afrikaans); mohlafotha (Sesotho); mokhura (Pedi); mufuta (Shona); umfude (Ndebele); umhlakuva (isiZulu); umhlakuva (isiXhosa)

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Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust)

A deciduous tree up to 12m high, exceptionally 25m, with an oval or rounded crown and bark that is dark brown and deeply furrowed. It suckers freely and often forms thickets. Young stems and branchlets have short spines. Small, bright green leaves above and paler beneath which become yellow in autumn. White, fragrant flowers in drooping sprays from September to November. Reddish-brown pods. The seeds, leaves and inner bark are poisonous seeds.

Alternative common names:
False acacia, locust tree, yellow locust (English); witakasia, valsakasia (Afrikaans)

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Rubus cuneifolius (American bramble)

An erect to sprawling thorny shrub growing up to 2m high with deeply ridged stems. Green, finely serrated leaves sometimes densely grey-downy beneath. White flowers with petals that are much longer than the sepals and appear from September to January. The edible fruits are red turning black.

Alternative common names:
Blackberry, Gozard’s curse, sand bramble (English); sandbraam, Amerikaanse braambos (Afrikaans); ijingijoye (isiZulu)

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Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian Pepper Tree)

An evergreen shrub or tree growing up to 6m high with wide-spreading, horizontal branches. The dark green leaves have prominent, pale veins above and are paler and smoother below, while the leaflets are more round. Small, creamy-white flowers appear from September to March. Male and female flowers develop on separate trees. Fruits are bright red, slightly fleshy, one-seeded spherical drupes and are poisonous. The sap is a skin irritant and affects the respiratory tract.

Alternative common names:
Brazilian holly, Christmas berry tree, pepper hedge, South American pepper (English); Brasiliaanse peperboom (Afrikaans)

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Sesbania punicea

Sesbania punicea (Spanish gold, rattlebox, or scarlet sesban) is an ornamental shrub that produces reddish-orange flowers, has deciduous leaves, and grows to 15 feet high. This plant has a high demand for water, and thrives in swamps or high-moisture areas. It also requires a mildly acidic soil to grow, ranging between 6.1 and 6.5 pH

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Setaria megaphylla

Setaria megaphylla, the broad-leaved bristle grass, big-leaf bristle grass, ribbon bristle grass, or bigleaf bristlegrass, is native to south-eastern Africa.It is also cultivated, and it has naturalized outside its native range, for example, in Florida in the United States.

It may be found in glades in forested areas and along rivers or streams. It can grow to more than 2 metres tall and has broad dark green leaves and hairy leaf sheaths. Many kinds of birds, such as finches and canaries, eat the seeds.

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Solanum mauritianum (Bugweed)

A shrub or small tree up to 4m high covered with whitish-felty hairs. Dull green leaves that are velvety above and white-felty beneath which emit a strong smell when bruised. Purple flowers in compact, terminal clusters on densely felty stalks up to 10cm long all year round. Spherical berries which start off green and turn yellow, in compact terminal clusters. Hairy leaves and stems are a respiratory tract and skin irritant. Unripe fruits are poisonous.

Alternative common names:
bugtree, flannel weed, woolly nightshade (English); luisboom, groot bitterappel (Afrikaans); uBhoqo, umbanga banga (isiZulu)

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Solanum sisymbrifolium (Wild tomato)

A very spiny low shrub with many branches up to 1,5m high covered with sticky, glandular hairs and bright orange-red to brown-yellow spines up to 20mm long. It has an extensive root system. The leaves are dull green, hairy, deeply lobed and toothed and have prominent spines on the midrib and veins. White, cream or bluish flowers appear all year. The fruits are shiny green berries turning bright red. The unripe fruit is poisonous.

Alternative common names:
Dense-thorned bitter apple, sticky nightshade, fire-and-ice plant (English); wildetamatie, tamatiedissel, digdoringbitterappel (Afrikaans)

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Solanum tuberosum (Volunteer potatoes)

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Stoebe plumosa (Slangbos)

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Syncarpia spp. (Turpentine tree)

Syncarpia is a small group of trees in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) described as a genus in 1839. They are native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia.

They are unusual among the Myrtaceae in that the leaves are opposite rather than alternate as is the norm for the family.

The species are commonly known as turpentine trees due to the odour of their resin.

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Tagetes minuta (Khaki weed)

Tagetes minuta, also known as muster John Henry, southern marigold, stinking roger wild marigold, or black mint, is a tall upright marigold plant from the genus Tagetes, with small flowers, native to the southern half of South America. Since Spanish colonization, it has been introduced around the world, and has become naturalized in Europe, Asia, Australasia, North America, and Africa.

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Taraxacum officinale (Common dandelion)

Taraxacum officinale, the common dandelion[4] (often simply called "dandelion"), is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae).

It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils. T. officinale is considered a weed, especially in lawns and along roadsides, but it is sometimes used as a medical herb and in food preparation. Common dandelion is well known for its yellow flower heads that turn into round balls of silver tufted fruits that disperse in the wind called "blowballs" or "clocks".

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Terminalia Sericea (Transvaal silver leaf)

Terminalia sericea is a species of deciduous tree of the genus Terminalia that is native to southern Africa. The silver cluster-leaf grows to a height of about 9 metres (30 ft) in woodland but isolated trees can be up to 23 metres (75 ft) tall. The bark is a reddish or greyish brown colour and peels away in strips. The bluish-green leaves tend to be clustered at the tips of the branches. They are ovate with entire margins and both the upper and lower surfaces are clothed in silvery hairs. The flowers are white and are borne in short axilliary spikes. They have an unpleasant smell and may be pollinated by flies. The fruit are winged nuts containing a single seed and turn a darker pink colour as they ripen. They may remain attached to the branch for a year and are dispersed by the wind. They sometimes become contorted and hairy as a result of the activities of parasitic insect larvae.

Alternative common names:
Clusterleaf, silver cluster-leaf or silver terminalia (English), vaalboom (Afrikaans) mususu (Venda).

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Typha capensis (Common bulrush)

Typha capensis is a monoecious (having the reproductive organs in separate structures but borne on the same individual), perennial marsh herb which has a very fast colonizing habit by means of creeping rhizomes. The stems are erect and simple, and terminate in dense, cylindrical flower-spikes. The leaves are long, bluish grey to green, strap-shaped and with parallel veins. Leaves vary in length from 0.5 to 1.5 m and more.

The inflorescence is a dense spike of closely packed flowers, yellow at first, turning brown later. Flowers are unisexual and minute. The male flowers are in the upper portion and female flowers in the lower portion of the spike. The flowers themselves, lacking tepals, are reduced to 1 carpel (female flowers) or 2-5 stamens ( male flowers), packed together with hairs. The fruit is 1-seeded, minute and has many hairs which aid wind dispersal. Typha capensis flowers from December to January.

Alternative common names:
Papkuil, matjiesriet, palmiet, (Afr.); Ibhuma (Zulu, Swazi); Ingcongolo (Xhosa); Motsitla (Sesotho)

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Ulex europaeus (Gorse)

Much branched, densely spiny shrub growing up to 1,5m high with hairy, striated young branches and green spines which are deeply furrowed, rigid and sharp pointed. The dark green leaves are distinctly jagged and pointy. It produces bright yellow, fragrant flowers in spring, followed by dark brown or black, hairy pods.

Alternative common names:
Furze, whin (English); gaspeldoring (Afrikaans)

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Ziziphus mucronata (Buffalo-thorn)

The Buffalo thorn is a small to medium sized tree, reaching a height of about 10m (33ft). It can survive in a variety of soil types, occurring in many habitats, mostly open woodlands, often on soils deposited by rivers, and grows frequently on termite mounds.

Buffalo thorn has distinctive zigzag branchlets, and hooked and straight thorns.

The bark is a red-brown (on young stems) or roughly mottled grey which is cracked in small rectangular blocks revealing a stringy red underbark.

The fruit are roughly grape size, and ripen into a deep brown-red.

Alternative common names:
Blinkblaar-wag-'n-bietjie (Afrikaans), Mphasamhala (Tsonga).

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