My late mother had a beautiful Keurboom (Virgilia divaricata) growing in her Lydenburg garden in Mpumalanga and delighted in it both for the shade it provided and its wonderful show of flowers.

The one we planted in our present garden has not done well at all. Despite these small to medium-sized trees being endemic to the Western Cape, Southern Cape and Eastern Cape, and found along forest margins, I think ours has battled to ‘find its feet’ in our hard clay soil and to find enough light as the other trees we planted soon after our arrival have matured to provide more shade.

It is therefore a delight to find several Virgilia trees in full bloom along the dirt road I travel along several times a week. The beautiful, sweetly scented, sweet-pea-like flowers of the Keurboom usually appear from about August until November.

Judging by the profusion of blossoms on the trees at present, I suspect we will be able to enjoy them well into December this year.

They are meant to be fast growing (not in my garden!) evergreen trees which, when flowering, attract a variety of insects and birds.   My rather old cell phone has not done justice to these lovely flowers – I shall have to revisit the trees sometime with my camera in hand!

17 thoughts on “KEURBOOM

  1. There is a Keurboom Road close to where I grew up in Cape Town so I have always known the name but until now have never known what it looks like – thanks for the enlightenment!


    • I am glad I have added to your ‘enlightenment’ 🙂 Just for interest, there is also the Keurbooms River along the Garden Route and Keurboomstrand near Plettenberg Bay – both named after this pretty indigenous tree.


  2. We planted one as a memorial to our beloved GSD, Toby who we had to have euthenased 2 years ago, when his cancer metastasized, post chemo therapy.
    The young tree grew incredibly fast and then inexplicably blew over in a storm, having neither reached maturity nor flowered. It simply snapped right off at the base of its trunk. We are hoping to source a Cape Chestnut instead.


    • A Cape Chestnut will be a wonderful memorial! They are beautifully shaped trees and look lovely all year round. Ours has just started to bloom, but some of the trees in town are so full of blossoms you can hardly see a leaf on them.


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