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Natal bottlebrush

Greyia sutherlandii

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The Natal bottlebrush is a small deciduous tree. The wood is pale pink and generally light and soft. Young trees are compact and old trees do not grow tall but spread and have rough, dark trunks. Will make a good addition a a small garden. They grow best in summer rainfall areas at higher altitudes and do not fair well at the coast.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Spring, Winter

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Cuttings
Take cuttings from new shoots when the tree is in active growth, root in fine bark mixed with polystyrene. Put the cuttings on the mist unit with bottom heating. Rooting takes 4-6 weeks.
Seed
Sow seed in late summer in a seed tray of well-drained soil. Treat seed with fungicide to prevent damping off. Keep the seed tray damp in a warm position.

Special features

Attracts birds
Sunbirds are attracted to the flowers
Attracts useful insects
Bees and other insects are attracted to the flowers.
Pot plant
Can be grown in pots.

Geography

Origin
Africa, Swaziland, South Africa, Eastern Cape, the eastern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, eastern Gauteng
Natural climate
Sub-tropical and Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Root infusions are used in traditional medicine to induce nausea and vomiting.
Notes
Ornamental. Some African tribes to make household utensils. Some farmers use it for fencing.

Personality

Family
Melianthaceae
Flower colour
Red
Scent
None

Problems

Generally problem free.

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