Botanical name

Rapanea melanophloeos

Family

Myrsinaceae

Common Name

Cape Beech, Boekenhout
Rapanea melanophloeos
Rapanea melanophloeos
Rapanea melanophloeos
Rapanea melanophloeos
Rapanea melanophloeos
Rapanea melanophloeos

Description

Medium to large evergreen tree 4 to 10m in height. Bark light grey, smooth to flaking, stem frequently fluted in large specimens, young branches are square in section. Leaves clustered near the ends of branches, oblong, thick and leathery, dull dark green above, paler green below, with many conspicuous gland-dots which may be seen when the leaf is held up to the light, young leaves often pinkish-red and shiny; leaf stalk up to 1.5cm long. Cream or greenish coloured flowers, inconspicuous, in few-flowered clusters in axils or mainly below the leaves on older wood.

Fruit spherical, thinly fleshy, up to 1cm in diameter, on short stalks, massed along the branchlets just below the leaves, white and purple when ripe; fruits appear about 3 months after flowering and flowers and fruits may be found on the tree at same time.

Wood is pinkish-brown, fine-grained, takes a fine polish and was used to make furniture and violins.

Habitat

Damp coastal forest areas

Flower Date

October to December