Scientific Name: Zizphus mucronata
Common names: Buffalo Thorn. Blink blaar wag-n-bietjie
Description: This is a deciduous tree, which grows up to
17m tall. The bark is rough and is dark grey to brown in colour. The flowers
are silvery green in colour, found in dense bunches amongst the leaves.
Flowers can be found between October to April, with fruit being
found from February to August.
The thorns are found in pairs on the branches, one thorn being
straight with one hooked.
Medical uses: The leaves bark and roots are used medicinally
and magically for pain relief to respiratory complaints and skin infections.
The leaves if crushed may be used to stop bleeding.
In Namibia some of the tribal
people belief that the tree deflects lightning, and that it is safe to shelter
under one during a thunderstorm. Others believe that cutting this tree after the
first rains will result in a drought.
The Swazi name, ‘Malahlabantu’ signifies the protection of
graves against wild animals, which stems from the practice of covering graves
with the thorny branches.
Nutritive uses: The fruit is edible but not very tasty.
Other uses: Branches are used for protection of cattle kraal
and sometimes the graves of dead tribal members.
The wood is used for implements and fuel.
Interesting Facts: The flowers attract a lot of different
Credits: Christian Fourie