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Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: Tree Fuchsia

Scientific name: Halleria lucida.
Family: Stilbaceae.
Common names: Tree Fuchsia, White olive (Eng.), Notsung, Witolienhout, Witolyfhout (Afr.), umbinza (isiXhosa), indomela, umbinza (isiZulu), lebetsa (Sesotho), murevhe (Tshivenda).

Halleria lucida is a hardy, evergreen, small, willowy-in-nature tree that grows in a range of habitats from deep forests to rocky cold mountain slopes. In colder and more exposed areas, the Fuchsia usually grows between 2 – 5m but can reach up to 12m in height in well watered, protected situations and up to 20m in forests.

The numerous clusters of green berries turn black when ripe and contain a jelly-like flesh in which the seeds are found. Its ripe fleshy, black berries and nectar-rich flowers make the Fuchsia one of the best bird-attracting trees.


a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to:

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