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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Russet Bush-Willow tree

Afrikaans name: Kierieklapper

Russet Bush-Willow tree

The Russet Bush-Willow tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Combretum hereroense

The Russet Bush-Willow is a smallish tree that grows to a height of 5 to 8 metres. They are found in the north-eastern region of South Africa and are particularly common in Kruger National Park.

It is normally a multi-stemmed tree. The leaves of the Russet Bush-Willow are green on top while the underneath side is covered with brown hairs underneath. Most of the Combretum family of trees get a reddish-brown fruit that has four wings and this one is no exception. These fruits are about 2 cm in length.

The Russet Bush-Willow grows in a variety of habitats including flat areas, rocky woodlands as well as along the banks of streams. It prefers sandy or loamy soil.

The wood of the Russet Bush-Willow is strong and is used for struts in mines, pick handles, furniture and a number of other things. Various species of game eat the leaves as do cattle. A form of team can be made by boiling dry leaves and fruits. The wood is hard and makes a good charcoal. The bark and roots have been used to treat a variety of ailments such as aches and pains, heartburn and tonsilitis.

Bark of the Russet Bush-Willow tree

Bark of the Russet Bush-Willow tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 261

A site-by-site guide to trees in the Kruger National Park - Author: Marissa Greeff - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 176

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 82

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 172

Sappi Tree Spotting: Lowveld - Author: Jacana - Year Published: 1997 - Page: 258

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 356

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 802

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