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Black bird-berry

Psychotria capensis

This very decorative shrub is a must for all frost-free gardens. Not only is it a year-round attraction, either in fruit or flower most the time, it is also easy to grow. Growing equally well in sun or shade, it is perfect for those difficult, summer-shade winter-sun spots under large trees. Plant in groups or repeat plants throughout the bed.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer
Fruiting time
Summer, Winter

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Seed
Quick and easy to grow from seed. Just remove the flesh from around the stone of ripe fruits and sow in spring.

Special features

Attracts birds
Bulbuls, robins and barbets are some of the bird species that feed on the berries.
Pot plant
It can be successfully grown in containers on balconies and patios.

Geography

Origin
Africa, southern Africa, southern Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Knysna through the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo
Natural climate
Mediterranean to sub-tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicially
Medicinally P. capensis is used for gastric complaints and root infusions are taken to cause vomiting.
Timber
The wood is hard and fine-grained making a good general purpose timber.

Personality

Family
Rubiaceae
Flower colour
Golden yellow
Scent
None

Problems

Generally problem free.

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