Tree of the week: Searsia leptodictya – Mountain Karee – Bergkaree – Mohlwehlwe

The attractive, deciduous Red Bush Willow is native to Africa and will grow in most gardens. Known for its colourful autumn foliage, this is a lovely shade tree during summer.

The Red Bush Willow is a single or multi-stemmed tree that can grow to a height of 3 – 10 m.  The bark is grey to brownish grey and becomes roughly fissured with age.  The leaves are distinctive in that the tip of the leaf typically twists upwards.   Shiny yellow-green in summer, the foliage turns reddish yellow to golden brown during autumn providing a stunning display.

The tree flowers from September to February and the tiny blooms are yellow to creamy green with a sharp scent.  The Red Bush Willow fruits from January to May and the fruit often remains on the tree until the next flowering season.  The medium sized, red brown, four winged pods have a single seed in the centre.

The Red Bush Willow prefers sandy soil or rocky areas with clay soil and is fairly drought resistant.  When young it can be sensitive to frost, but becomes hardier with age.  This is an example of a beautiful display tree that adds colour to your garden, all year round.

Information sourced from Sun Gardens