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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Wild Plum

Afrikaans name: Wildepruim

Wild Plum tree at the picnic site in Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

Harpephyllum caffrum

The Wild Plum is a distinctive and large tree. It can grow to a height of 20 metres or more.

This is a popular tree amongst various forms of wildlife. Some species of butterfly such as the Common Hairtail lay their eggs on the leaves. The fruit is eaten by Vervet Monkeys, bushbabies, Chacma Baboons and Bushbuck and others. Fruit eating birds such as louries, Green Pigeons and parrots are also attracted to its fruit.

The fruit of the Wild Plum is small and oval in shape. When ripe they are reddish in colour.

The leaves are a good identifying feature of this tree. They grow in a kind of radial, or whirlpool, fashion.

Leaves of a Wild Plum tree

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 196

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 55

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 163

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 76

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Year Published: 2004? - Page: 188

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 242

The Natal Bushveld - Volume 1 - Author: Natal Parks Board - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 35

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 540

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