SA No. 251

Balanites maughamii

Groendoring / Greenthorn

Family: Balanitaceae

Where can i find this tree.  Locations to follow soon – watch this space!

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Mostly found in the Lowveld bush in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and North Natal in South Africa, these trees can grow to  heights of 20m. Their thorns can vary from simple to forked, and are robust and strong! Another characteristic is that sometimes the forked spines have one longer point and one that is shorter. Small flowers followed by large oval shaped green fruit which turn yellow when ripe. The seeds contain an oil that burns well, and are used for various purposes locally like providing light – also where the other name Torchwood is derived from. The older trees can have impressive white grey trunks which look like a few trunks concocted together. A poison is made from the green fruit to kill fish and snails. The flesh of the ripe yellow fruit is eaten by humans (not always very tasty), and many animals.

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Birds:

The green flowers lure insects and birds.

Animals:

The fallen ripe fruit is eaten by many animals such as bushpigs, bushbucks, rodents, and other antelope. On the trees Baboons and monkeys will have a feast.

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