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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red Beech

Afrikaans name: Rooiboekenhout

Red Beech

Red Beech

Photo © Steven Herbert

Protorhus longifolia

The Red Beech is a medium-sized tree that can grow to a height of 15 metres. It is found in a variety of habitats including woodland, forest and along river banks.

It has long dark green leaves that are quite shiny. It gets clusters of greenish-white, or yellowish, flowers that are borne in clusters. The fruit is just over 1 cm in lenghth and becomes purplish as they ripen.

The bark of the Red Beech can be smooth or rough and is dark brown in colour. It gives off a gum which used to be used by warriors to secure the blades of their assegaais to the shafts.

The wood is sometimes used for furniture and other purposes.

Leaves of the Red Beech

Above - Leaves of the Red Beech

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: 197

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 56

Pocket Guide - Trees of Southern Africa - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 77

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Year Published: 2004? - Page: 282

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 244

The Natal Bushveld - Volume 1 - Author: Natal Parks Board - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 69

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 545

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