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Weeping boer bean

Schotia brachypetala

Tree Fushia, African Walnut (Eng.), Huilboerboon (Afr.)

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This is a handsome, medium to large tree with a wide-spreading, densely branched, rounded crown. It has a single trunk that sometimes branches low down. The beauty of these trees are in the brightly coloured red flowers which sometimes produce so much nectar that it drips from the flowers hence the name Weeping boer-bean.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

The flowering time is somewhat irregular while seeds may mature during late summer to autumn.

Propagation

Seed
Easily grown from seed. Pot the seeds in well-drained general-purpose potting soil, placed in a warm but shaded spot and keep moist. Sowing time - Spring/Summer.
Cuttings
Truncheon cuttings can be taken in winter to early spring while the tree is not in active growth. Place in well-drained sandy soil in a cool shady spot and keep the soil damp.

Special features

Attracts birds
Attracts a wide variety of birds, particularly sun-birds and other nectar loving birds.
Attracts useful insects
Bees and insects feed on the nectar.

Geography

Origin
Southern Africa
Natural climate
Warm temperate, Sub-tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
The seeds which are edible after roasting, are low in fat and protein but have high carbohydrate content.
Ornamental
An exceptional ornamental tree.
Medicinal
A decoction of the bark is taken to treat heartburn and hangovers. Bark and root mixtures are used to strengthen the body and purify the blood, to treat nervous heart conditions and diarrhoea, as well as for facial saunas.
Timber
The timber is of good quality, suitable for furniture making. The sapwood is pinkish-grey and not durable unless treated.The heartwood is a dark walnut, almost black, hard, fairly heavy and termite resistant with a dense fine texture and has been much used for furniture and flooring blocks. It is also said to be excellent for all kinds of wagon wood and was chiefly in demand for wagon beams.

Personality

Family
Fabaceae
Flower colour
Red
Scent
None

Problems

Relatively free from pests and diseases.

Companion plants

Grows with grasses and woodland plants.

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