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Assegai

Curtisia dentata

Assegai is an evergreen tree that makes an interesting addition to any garden, with its bitter, but edible berries. The bark is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. This tree can make a bushy leaf hedge and is a good option for gardeners who want to attract birds to their garden or left to grow into a strong straight stem reaching for the skyes.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Berries and bark can be harvested. Berries can be picked and are edible if bitter and bark can be harvested for its medicinal properties.

Propagation

Seed
Remove the fleshing covering of the berry and sow the nut when fresh, covered lightly and keep warm and moist. Germination takes 3-4 weeks.
Cuttings
Cuttings root readily, but cut stumps thicket freely and the roots give off suckers.

Special features

Hedge plant
When Assegai is planted in full sun it becomes bushy and makes an attractive, tall, leafy hedge or screen.
Attracts birds
This plant attracts a variety of birdlife to the garden.
Drought resistant
Although Assegai prefers to be well-watered, once established it will withstand moderate drought.

Geography

Origin
South Africa and Swaziland, Cape Peninsula through the Western Cape to the forests of Knysna, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and Swaziland
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
The bark is traditionally used in ailments to treat diarrhoea and stomach upsets as well as blood purifier.

Personality

Family
Cornaceae
Flower colour
Cream and white
Scent
None

Problems

Turkey-tail bracket fungus attacks dead trunks and branches.

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