A PURPLE BEAUTY

A tree like the ones shown below has been growing next to our back gate ever since we arrived here over thirty years ago. During this time it has produced the odd purple flower and clusters of dark berries favoured both by birds as well as the odd passer-by – none of whom has been able to tell me what it is called.

After so many years of drought, I was taken aback to find it covered with blossoms that first appeared at the end of September and have continued through October and November.

This has proved to be so not only for the tree on our boundary, but the beautiful flowers indicated that there are a number of these shrubs in the veld below where we live as well as elsewhere in our local area.

The mass of flowers, ranging from light to dark, are beautiful to see.

Several of the bushes I photographed were covered with bees.

They also had plenty of buds waiting to open.

As we near the end of November, the clusters of berries have become more prominent.

None of the tree guides I have illustrate these beautiful blossoms – nor do the wild flower guides – and I have drawn a blank on the internet. A positive identification would be most welcome…

…THE MYSTERY IS SOLVED! Thanks to Dries at de Wets Wild we now know it is a Puzzle Bush or Deurmekaarbos. You can access interesting information about it at https://treesa.org/ehretia-rigida/