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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

White Milkwood

Afrikaans name:

White Milkwood

White Milkwood tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Sideroxylon inerme

The White Milkwood tree is found in coastal woodlands, and a bit further inland, all the way from Cape Town, along the eastern region of South Africa, to Limpopo. It is a small tree with a maximum height of about 10 metres. It is multi-stemmed and very bushy. The tree gives off a milky latex substance when damaged. The bark varies in colour from grey-brown to black. It often cracks into rectangular block shapes. The leaves are oval in shape and are brighter on top than underneath. Clusters of tiny greenish-white flowers appear in summer and autumn. The fruit is berry-shaped and starts off green turning purple or blackish in colour when ripe. The fruit is eaten by bats and birds. The wood of the White Milkwood is easily worked and is used for a variety of things including building boats.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 277

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 89

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 187

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 166

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 109

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 391

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Year Published: 2004? - Page: 236

The Coastal Guide of South Africa - Author: Jacana Media - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 108

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 388

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 871

What Tree is That? - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1967 - Page: 15

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