Scientific name: Kiggelaria africana L.
Common names: Wild Peach, Wildeperske (Afr.), umKokoko (Xhosa), uMunwe (Zulu), Monepenepe (North Sotho), Lekgatsi (South Sotho), Muphatavhafu (Venda).
The Wild Peach is endemic to coastal and inland forests, bushveld and woodland areas and along streams & rocky hillsides. It is widely distributed in Africa, from the Western Cape in the south to Kenya in the north. This is the only observed species of Kiggelaria in South Africa.
This peach of a tree is not a peach tree of the edible-fruit kind for us humans. While its leaves are superficially similar to the Prunus persica, the flowers are vastly different. The tiny, bell-shaped flowers of the Wild Peach – in bloom from spring to summer – are yellow-green, whereas the Prunus persica have pink flowers. The hard, greenish-yellow capsule of the Kiggelaria Africana splits when dry to expose shiny black seeds enclosed in an oily, sticky orange-red coating.
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: www.sanbi.org.za
Click here if you would like to sponsor a Wild Peach and help grow a mini forest!