Shrub medium; Shrub large
lowers: Small whitish-cream to pale yellow flowers from July to November; winter spring
sun; afternoonsun; semi-shade; screen; shrubbery; wildlife; container; small area trees; wildlife birds butterfly host; narrow spaces;
woodland forest; coastal kzn; fynbos; grassland; coastal eastern cape; bushveld
thicket; highveld; subtropical east coast; western cape; bushveld savanna
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The genus name, Diospyros, is Greek for ‘divine pear’, an apt name for this beautiful small tree. Growing into either a small tree or large shrub of between 5 – 7 m, with a spread of 2 – 3m, the Bladdernut has some of the most beautiful foliage of all indigenous species. Leaves are small, dark green and glossy, and new leaf opens with touches of red and russet, and can be seen covering the canopy through the year. The undersides of the leaves are a lighter green. While it naturally has a very tidy shape, this adaptable species is easily pruned into a hedge or shrub and is a popular specimen for bonsai, topiaries and as a container plant. The foliage is dense and evergreen but if planted in shade, will thin out, and it is an lovely choice for a shade tree in the lawn. The Bladdernut is often multi-stemmed, branching from low down, and the lower branches will need to be pruned if used for a shade tree.