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Pink Keurboom

Virgilia divaricata

Pink Blossom Tree, Keurboom

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Small to medium-seized trees, with an attractive bushy, spherical to broadly conical growth habit with branches growing close to the ground. Fast-growing when young, growing up to 1.3 m a year and are beautiful in flower. A keurboom is the perfect tree for the new, bare garden because it grows so fast it will take only two or three years before it will be creating shade, or a screen, and filtering the wind. It is also one of the best species to use as a pioneer in the first stage in the succession to forest. It is happy to grow out in the open, grows fast and quickly and creates the shade that the slower-growing, more permanent trees need to grow in.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Summer, Spring

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Seed
Seed should be sown in autumn or spring, in well-drained soil at a depth of 0.5 - 1 cm and covered with the sowing medium or milled bark and then watered.

Special features

Attracts birds
The flowers of both species are rich in nectar and attract many birds, including sunbirds, doves and white-eyes who also nest in them.
Attracts useful insects
The flowers attract carpenter bees, honey bees and ants. The blue butterfly, known as the Lucerne Blue, Lampides boeticus, breeds on lucerne and on keurboom trees.
Crop rotation
One of the pioneer trees that is quick to grow, add food to the soil and shelter other trees as they grow and mature.

Geography

Origin
Africa, south eastern coast of South Africa
Natural climate
Mediterranean and Sub-tropical

Environment

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

Uses

Notes
In earlier times the wood was much in demand for yokes. It was also used for spars, wagon-bed planks and rafters, and can be used for furniture. The transparent gum that exudes from the bark was once used as a substitute for starch.

Personality

Family
Fabaceae
Flower colour
Pinkish mauve to Violet-pink
Scent
Mild

Problems

Generally problem free.

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