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Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: White Ironwood

Tree Medicines of the Garden Route - White Ironwood - Precious Tree Project

Scientific name: Vepris lanceolata.
Family: Rutaceae.
Common names: White ironwood (Eng.); Witysterhout (Afr.); Muruvula (Tsonga); Muhondwa (Venda); umZane (Xhosa); umOzana (Zulu).

Predominantly a forest tree, the White Ironwood is prevalent in forested environments around South Africa (including evergreen, coastal and dry forests), but is also found in riverine bush and seaside thicket areas, growing on sandy beach soils and dunes along the Garden Route coast. These trees grow particularly well under the canopy of the taller pioneer forest trees (such as the Keurboom) and attract a wide range of animal, insect and birdlife. It is well-recorded that porcupine specifically like the bark of the tree.


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.

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:

Click here if you would like to sponsor a White Ironwood and help grow a mini forest!

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