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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Ash

Afrikaans name: Essenhout

Cape Ash

Cape Ash tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ekebergia capensis

The Cape Ash has a wide distribution in Africa. It is found from South Africa through to Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is a large tree that can reach 15 metres in height. It can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from riverine forests, at sea-level, through to evergreen forests at around 1500 metres above sea-level.

The bark is rough and varies in colour from grey to black. The leaves are large and glossy green in colour.

During summer the Cape Ash gets sprays of small white flowers which are quite sweetly scented. The fruit starts off green and turns bright red when it is ripe. The fruit is a popular food amongst many fruit-eating birds as well as mammals such Chacma Baboon, monkeys and Nyala.

Cape Ash leaves

Leaves of the Cape Ash

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: 181

A site-by-site guide to trees in the Kruger National Park - Author: Marissa Greeff - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 146

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 47

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 119

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 162

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 69

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Year Published: 2004? - Page: 224

Sasol First Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 28

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 202

The Natal Bushveld - Volume 1 - Author: Natal Parks Board - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 27

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 452

What Tree is That? - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1967 - Page: 9

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