HUIL BOER-BOON/ WEEPING BOER-BEAN

I have often mentioned the beautiful wild flowers in the Addo Elephant National Park. Even when the spring bounty has disappeared, one is often struck by the scarlet flowers of the Huil Boer-boon or Weeping Boer-bean (Schotia brachypetala) that peep out from among the foliage.

Schotia brachypetala

Normally these attractive trees can grow to a height of about 11-16 metres. There are some beautiful specimens of this height with broad spreading canopies in our town. I have often watched a variety of birds feeding on the sticky nectar which exudes from the dense clusters of flowers which grow on the old wood. It is probably this dripping nectar that has led to the ‘weeping’ epithet.

Schotia brachypetala

In the National Park, however, they cannot escape being food for the browsers and so they tend to look shrivelled and sometimes barely even look like a tree. The ‘boer’ part of the name refers to the shape of their broad seeds which resemble a domestic broad bean and means ‘farm’ bean. It is also sometimes referred to as a Tree Fuschia.

Schotia brachypetala

The flowering period of these trees is irregular, which is one of the reasons why they are seen so often in the Park.

Schotia brachypetala

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s