Apodytes dimidiata E.Mey. ex Arn. subsp. dimidiata
Common names: White Pear, Bird’s Eye (Eng.); Witpeer (Afr.); Umdakane (Xhosa); Umdagane (Zulu); Umdzagame (Swati), Sephopha-madi, Kgalagangwê (N. Sotho), Tshiphopha-madi (Venda).
- Fruit eating birds are particularly attracted to the fleshy bright red appendage (cap) attached to the black berry (giving the fruit its kidney shape).
- Many species of pollinating insects, included bees visit the sweetly scented, pollen-laden flowers.
- Insectivorous birds are often seen foraging for insects, particularly when this tree is in flower.
- Densely clustered spikes of strongly scented, snow-white flowers that are borne from September to April, especially after good rains.
- The flowers attract many pollinating insects to the garden.
- The bees visit the flowers early in the morning when the scent is strongest. When there is a breeze the tiny petals are like confetti blowing around the garden. They are followed by very decorative bunches of black berries with a fleshy red ‘cap’ that attract birds to the garden.
- This tree is known to be valued by the Zulu nation in traditional medicine.
- An infusion from the root bark is used as an enema for intestinal parasites.
- The leaves are used in the treatment of ear inflammation.
- The leaves are also eaten, boiled whole and mixed with porridge.
- The wood is very hard and has been a suitable material for agricultural implements, fence posts, hut building, cabinetry, joinery, interior trimming, musical instruments, gun stocks, decorative items, carving and turnery.
- It is also popular for domestic flooring, boat building, sporting equipment, drawing instruments, tables and historically a highly valued wood to use for wagons.