Tree of the week: Ochna natalitia – Natal plane – Pronkrooihout – Tshipfure

Although it can sometimes grow as a small tree, Ochna natalia is typically found as a small shrub, reaching a mature height of around 4 meters. Its beauty remains evident throughout the year, due to its delicate blossoms, vibrant fruiting, and fresh growth. In September, the Natal Plane stands out with its bright yellow flowers shining among its dark green leaves, tinged with a reddish hue.

The bark of the Natal Plane starts off smooth on young branches but roughens as it ages. Its leaves vary in shape from oblong to elliptic-oblong and have toothed margins with short petioles. From September to December, clusters of golden yellow flowers grace the branches, attracting bees and butterflies. These blooms give way to attractive berries with red or pink enlarged calyx and oblong black drupelets, enticing birds from spring to summer.

This semi-deciduous tree has a non-invasive root system, making it suitable for hedging, screening, specimen planting, or creating groves. It can even be placed near paving or buildings, making it perfect for side alleys visible from indoors. Thriving in sunny or semi-shaded areas, the Natal Plane can tolerate light frost and moderate drought, preferring warm summers and ample rainfall. Its adaptability makes it a great choice for various climates.

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The Sun Trees Team

At Highveld Tree Fellers we strive for responsible tree felling practices that contribute to the environments well-being, demonstrating our commitment to the planet for future generations to come.