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Grewia occidentalis

Common names: Crossberry (E); iLalanyathi (Z); Kruisbessie (A);

Native to: Southern Africa
Shrub, Tree
An attractive shrub or small tree which produces attractive star-shaped mauve flowers.

Grewia occidentalis

EVERGREEN

SEMI-DECIDUOUS

FULL SUN

SEMI-SHADE

FROST HARDY

LOW WATER REQUIREMENTS

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

5m x 3m
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

Grewia occidentalis

DESCRIPTION

A fast-growing and hardy evergreen shrub with attractive, glossy, dark green leaves and trailing stems. It bears gorgeous star-like pink flowers with a cluster of prominent, bright yellow stamens. It bears distinctive, edible fruits that are clustered together in a square or cross shape.

WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
Attracts birds and butterflies.
Grewia occidental is is the larval host plant of Rufous-winged Elfin and Buff-tipped Skipper butterflies.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
Water moderately.
MAINTENANCE
Prune to keep in shape.
LANDSCAPING USES
Plant the Grewia ocidentalis in an informal border to attract birds.
It is also a wonderful screening plant for a larger garden.
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Forest, Woodland
FOLIAGE
BARK
FRUIT
PESTS & DISEASES
Seldom attacked by pests and diseases.

14 Responses

  1. Hi Ross

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    It’s not necessary to remove the flesh. Germination is most successful when fresh seed is planted so that will be in the fruiting season – January – May.

    The germination rate is usually 70-80%, depending on your growing conditions. The growth rate will also depend on your site conditions.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. Advice on germinating. Should the seeds be removed from the berry fruit or can entire pod be planted? When is best time to germinate seeds and approx how long until they shoot?

  3. Hi Pearl

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Yes, the Grewia occidentalis will provide a fast-growing screen. They can be planted 2m from the Ptaeroxylon obliquum in order to give both adequate rooting space.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  4. Hi Glenice

    I have a small garden in Johannesburg and have tried to create a woodland/screening effect in an east facing 2.5m longish bed. I’ve planted three Ptaeroxylon Obliquum Sneezemwood trees in this bed. Would a few Grevia be suitable for screening behind/between the Sneezewoods? I know that they are fast growing – are they easy to control and if recommended, how far from the Sneezewoods should they be planted?

    Thanks

    Pearl

  5. Hi Maria

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    When a plant produces flowers without fruit it is generally a sign that pollination is not taking place. Grewia is generally pollinated by insects, so by making your garden more attractive to bees and other insect pollinators, you will increase the chances of your plant producing fruit. Planting a variety of different plant species will help attract beneficial insects to your garden for longer periods in the year. Also remember to avoid the use of chemical pesticides in your garden.

    Here are some of our top bee plants that you could consider adding
    – Aptenia cordifolia (Aptenia)
    – Bulbine frutescens (Stalked bulbine)
    – Anisodontea ‘Classic Cerise (Pink mallows)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  6. I had this plant for years and I’ve never seen the fruits. It has a lot of nice purple flowers thoug.what do u think is the problem?

  7. Hi Dee

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Yes, Grewia occidentalis can be grown as an informal hedge. I’m not sure about how palatable the shrub is to horses but livestock are known to nibble on it without causing severe damage.

    They prefer full sun or semi-shade (at least 3 hours of sunshine).

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  8. Would the crossberry be any good as a type of boundary or hedge around a horse paddock? Not sure if they will eat the bush. Can they grow in shade?

  9. Hi Bronwyn

    Thanks for visiting our site.

    Grewia grows fairly easily from fresh seed with a 70-80% germination rate.

    Sow seeds in a mixture of river sand and compost (5:1 ratio). When the seedlings reach about 5-10cm, transplant to individual pots filled with a potting medium.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  10. I have some seeds of the Grewia Occidentalis Crossberry. Please can you give me some advice on planting these seeds.
    Thank you.

  11. Hi Tracy

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Yes, the Crossberry should be able to tolerate clay soil. Also consider Diospyros lycioides (Bluebush).

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  12. Hi,

    Please can you let me know if the Crossberry will thrive in a high clay soil. Looking for a tree/shrub to provide a privacy screen but our soil really sucks!
    Tracy

  13. Hi Candi

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Grewia occidentalis (Crossberry) makes a lovely focal point. It tends to form a multi-stemmed shrub, so you’ll need to train younger specimens to get your desired effect.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  14. Good day! Great and informative site thank you. Please can you advise if the Crossberry is suitable as a focal point in a small garden (3 of them in a row)? We would like to shape them into trees (more than shrubs) if possible? We also have indigenous Lavendar and a Pompom tree in the garden.

    Thanks,

    Candi.

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