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Ekebergia capensis

Common names: Cape Ash (E); umnyamathi (Z); Essenhout (A); mmidibidibi (NS);

Native to: Southern Africa
Tree

Ekebergia capensis

EVERGREEN

FULL SUN

SEMI FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

8m x 7m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Ekebergia capensis

DESCRIPTION

An evergreen tree with a roundish crown. The smooth bark varies in shades of grey. The glossy-green leaves have 3 to 5 pairs of lanceolate leaflets. The loose sprays of sweetly-scented small white flowers are borne at the tips of the branches. The fruit is an almost spherical, fleshy red berry. There are two different forms, a Southern/Cape variety and a Northern variety. They have different leaf structures and different growth habits, with the Northern variety appearing to grow slightly faster.

LANDSCAPING USES
A useful shade tree for the larger garden that will attract fruit-eating birds. This is a protected tree in South Africa.
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Country, Forest, Woodland
BARK
FRUIT

26 Responses

  1. Good day

    Can you please forward me a quotation on the following items.

    Ceratonia siliqua – bag size 20l stem 1-1.5cm height: 1.8m # All trees shall be healthy , leaf colour should be green to dark green , depending on the species and time of the year , free from injured bark and disease # Roots: Trees supplied may not have severely kinked or circling roots visible on the surface of container (girdling roots ) or pot bound
    Qty:80 each

    Ekebergia capensis – bag size 20l stem 1-1.5cm height: 1.8m green , depending on the species and time of the year , free from injured bark and disease # Roots: Trees supplied may not have severely kinked or circling roots visible on the surface of container (girdling roots ) or pot bound
    Qty:100 each

    Harpephyluum caffrum – bag size 20l stem 1-1.5cm height: 2m # All trees shall be healthy , leaf colour should be green to dark green , depending on the species and time of the year , free from injured bark and disease # Roots: Trees supplied may not have severely kinked or circling roots visible on the surface of container (girdling roots ) or pot bound
    Qty:100 each

    Ceratonia siliqua – bag size 50l stem 2cm height 2m # All trees shall be healthy , leaf colour should be green to dark green , depending on the species and time of the year , free from injured bark and disease # Roots: Trees supplied may not have severely kinked or circling roots visible on the surface of container (girdling roots ) or pot bound
    Qty:100 each

    Harpephyluum caffrum – bag size 50l stem 4cm height 2m # All trees shall be healthy , leaf colour should be green to dark green , depending on the species and time of the year , free from injured bark and disease # Roots: Trees supplied may not have severely kinked or circling roots visible on the surface of container (girdling roots ) or pot bound
    Qty:100 each

    Kindly awaiting your reply.

    Kind regards

  2. Hi Robert

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Ekebergia capensis is frost sensative so may not suite your location.

    Perhaps consider one of the following which are hardier:
    – Leucosidea sericea (Ouhout)
    – Olinia emarginata (Mountain hardpear)
    – Podocarpus latifolius (Real yellowwood)
    – Searsia lancea (Karee)
    – Rapanea melanophloeos (Cape beech)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  3. Hello Glenice

    Thanks for providing and maintaining a wonderful resource!

    I’d like to know if the Ekebeegia Capensis would survive in the Champagne Valley, KZN. It would be planted in the veld on a hillside as part of a memorial garden, but the Berg is prone to snow and frost.

    Many thanks & flourish!
    Robert

  4. Hi Bernadette

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Ekebergia capensis is a good choice but you selection of species will depend on your location and the amount of space available.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  5. A highrise has gone up next door with a window facing our pool – Sunny family area.
    Please recommend a fast growing/evergreen/small rooting system tree as near the pool/little mess from flowers too.
    Much appreciated
    Bernadette Martin

  6. Hi John

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Cape Ash is a wonderful choice.

    You could also consider
    – Apodytes dimidiata (White pear)
    – Dais cotinifolia (Pompon tree)
    – Curtisia dentata (Assegaai)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  7. Hi Glenice
    I live in Wellington in the Western Cape. I need to plant a tree for shade, next to a small “tennis court”. The sun is really bothersome in the late afternoon when one uses the court! The tree needs to have a non-invasive root structure, and might as well be evergreen, and a moderately fast grower. I would prefer that the existing lawn not be too much affected by the presense of the tree! My choice is CapeAsh, but several nurseries and tree experts, have been confusing me of late about what to go for! The soil has a large clay content. Water is not an issue, and space is ample. The area is relatively sheltered from the strong South Easterly winds, but can be a bit exposed to North Westerly winds in winter time – especially when the tree gets to be big/tall! Your opinion please?
    Regards
    John

  8. Hi Shirley

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    For your shade tree, you could consider:
    – Apodytes dimidata (White pear)
    – Dais cotinifolia (Pompon tree)
    – Kiggelaria africana (Wild peach)

    For a windbreak, you could consider:
    – Brachylaena discolor (Coastal silver oak)
    – Diospyros whyteana (Bladdernut)
    – Dodonea angustifolia (Sand olive)
    – Tarchonanthus camphoratus (Wild Camphor Bush)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  9. Hi. I live in Cape town and am looking for a fast growing evergreen tree that I can plant in the corner of the back garden that will give shade. Must not have invasive root system.
    What do you suggest.
    Also what trees can I plant in a row close to a vibacrete wall as a windbreak?
    Regards

  10. Hi Rensia

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    As far as I’m aware, the fruit will be safe for dogs as birds, baboons, monkeys bushbuck and nyala feed on it.

    The root system is not aggressive. However, avoid planting it less than 4m from any structure to prevent damage.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  11. Hi
    I want to know if the fruit of the tree is safe for animals, I have dogs. Also what type root system does the tree have. can it be planted near a wall without having issues later on.

    Thanks you
    Rensia

  12. Hi Jane

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Your tree should do well in Villiersdorp. You may need to secure it with a strong stake for the first couple of years to protect it from the winds.

    The growth rate will vary depending on the environmental factors, but you can expect approximately 1.2m per year.

    Also consider the following:
    – Pittosporum viridiflorum (Cheesewood)
    – Tarchonanthus littoralis (Coastal camphor tree)
    – Brachylaena discolor (Coast silver oak)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  13. Hi Glenice, I have a Cape Ash in my garden in Somerset West and it is thriving.
    I am considering planting it at our caravan site at Theewaterskloof , Villiersdorp as a shade tree. There is lots of space. The north wester does blow, and water , could potentially be a problem, and it can get hot. Will this tree manage ? How quickly does it grow ? If it is not suitable, what would you suggest as an indigenous tree. Maybe a Paperbark ?
    I have planted four Natal Ficus, as they seem to be the only tree that manages in the environment, but they are sitting – so slow!!
    I look forward to hearing from you.

  14. Hi Mariana

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    The knobs you describe sounds like your tree is a host plant for some insect. This may be a natural phenomenon which shouldn’t harm the plant. I would recommend you leave it and only take action if you notice that the plant’s growth is affected.

    Perhaps also take a cutting to your local nursery or botanical garden for recommendations.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  15. I planted an Ekebergia Capensis a month ago and it is growing beautifully. I have however noticed that it has been attacked by what would seem like a psyllid species. The leaves has pinkish knobs on the top and dents with what seems like scale-like infants at the bottom. Should I leave it or treat it with Margaret Roberts organic insecticide?

  16. Hi Valda

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Your tree could be responding to the drought and doing its best to save its energy. To give your tree an extra boost, consider adding extra compost and a dose of organic fertiliser to stimulate the growth of healthy new leaves.

    Let’s hope for an excellent rainy season for your region.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  17. Hello. My Cape Ash initially thrived but then after a year suddenly lost all its leaves and has since really struggled. The leaves have returned but are smaller and sparse looking and the tree just looks unhappy. It is about 2m tall. Can you assist or advise. Thank you. Valda from Somerset Wear in Cape Town.

  18. Hi Heidi

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    It could be your tree’s response to the changing climate. Trees tend to drop their leaves to conserve energy in times of stress.

    The tree is a larval host plant to the White-barred Emperor butterfly, so if caterpillars are eating the leaves, that could very well be the visitor making use of your tree. If this is the case, there is no need to take any preventative measures, but simply wait and appreciate the butterflies in your garden in a few weeks. This is a natural phenomenon and your tree will recover from it very quickly.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  19. I have one of these trees for about 4 years now.
    At first if looked as if it wanted to die on me and lost alot of leaves. But after a year all when well.
    Now again the leaves turn brown and falls off. Is this normal ?
    Now my biggest concern is that something is eating my leaves. Have been keeping an eye out for worms or any indication of insect, but finding nothing. What can it be and what can I use ?
    Thanks
    Heidi
    Cape Town

  20. Hi Christa

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Yes, this will be a fantastic tree for your space.

    You shouldn’t experience problems with the roots, but perhaps also check for any growing in your area to see how they fare under your climatic/soil conditions.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  21. Morning.

    I am considering this tree, as Stodels is giving away a tree for Arbor Day again today and this tree is on the list of choices.

    I would like to know If it is viable though. I would like to plant it in my front garden, which is not very big, about 10m x 10m., with a footpath running through the middle (made of cement and stones / pebbles. Would the roots be lifting the pathway later years.

  22. Hi Albert

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    The berries are not as messy as those of other species.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  23. Hallo, I have a small garden. I would be able to plant the tree, except if it has berrys that covers the ground under it, when it falls off the tree. Can you please tell me whether it does? Thanks. Albert

  24. Hi Robert

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.
    Since Ekebergia capensis is a large tree, you’d need to use a very large pot. Since it is in a confined space, it will require regular watering and feeding. Once it starts getting too big for the pot, I’d recommend planting in the ground in an area that will allow it to reach maturity – up to 10m tall.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  25. I received one of these lovely trees from Stodels Nurseries as a gift on Arbor Day.
    I would like to know if it will it do alright if I plant it in a container making it an ornamental tree?
    I look forward to your reply.
    Thank you
    Robert

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