Trees of the year
Trees of the year

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Scientific name: Searsia chirindensis

Family: Anacardiaceae

Description: The red currant is a semi-deciduous shrub to small tree, 6-10 m high. Young and coppicing branches are armed with spines, although the mature tree is spineless.

Flowers are small, yellowish green and are borne in clusters at the ends of the branches. Male and female flowers occur on separate trees.


Flowering time: August to March.

Fruits are round, shiny, slightly fleshy, dark reddish brown and 4-7 mm in diameter.

Fruiting time: December to March

Origin: South Africa and Tanzania

Medicinal uses:  The sap of this tree is used in traditional medicine for treating heart complaints. The bark is also used to strengthen the body, to stimulate circulation and in the treatment of rheumatism and mental disorders.


Propagation: The plant is propagated form fresh seeds and semi-hardwood cuttings.


COATES PALGRAVE, K. 1984. Trees of southern Africa, edn 2. Struik, Cape Town.

GRANT, R. & THOMAS, V. 1998. Sappi tree spotting: KwaZulu-Natal. Jacana, Johannesburg.

JOFFE, P. 1993. The gardener's guide to South African plants. Delos, Cape Town.

JOHNSON, D. & JOHNSON, S. 1993. Gardening with indigenous trees and shrubs. Southern Books, Halfway House, Gauteng.

PALMER, E. & PITMAN, N. 1972. Trees of southern Africa. Balkema, Cape Town.

POOLEY, E. 1993. The complete field guide to trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

VAN WYK, A.E. (Braam). & VAN WYK, P. 1997. Field guide to trees of southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town.

VENTER, F. & VENTER, J. 1996. Making the most of indigenous trees. Briza Publications, Pretoria.

VON BREYTENBACH, J. et al. 2001. Pocket list of southern African indigenous trees. Briza Publications & Dendrological Foundation, Pretoria.

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