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Combretum kraussii


Water Needs


Combretum kraussii
Tree medium; Tree large
Forest Bushwillow

7 - 9 m


Light Conditions

shade; semi-shade; sun




cream August to November; winter spring

Garden Situation

sun; shade; semi-shade; feature tree; wildlife insects bees butterfly host


woodland forest; bushveld; grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn


thicket;subtropical east coast; Highveld; bushveld savanna

Rain Season


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As most of the tree species with dramatic seasonal colour changes require dramatic changes in temperature to do so, it is remarkable how many gardeners in this predominantly warm, sun-drenched country of ours search for local trees with this characteristic. Of the handful on offer, the Combretum family stands out with leaf colour ranging from light summer greens to autumn russet and gold. Of the 25 South African species, the Forest Bushwillow, Bushwillow being the common name used between the species, has been chosen as the 2015 South African Tree of the Year. In a country predominantly warm and sunny, there are only a handful of species with seasonal colour changes, and these are special plants to include in a garden. The Combretum family often have strongly scented flowers that are popular with insects A very attractive feature or shade tree for gardens, pavements and parks. Combretum krausii (Forest Bushwillow) fruit dries to a light brown. A good screening tree. The change in leaf colours highlight the changing seasons in the garden. Ideal for planting along driveways or in paving as roots are unlikely to lift paving. Will make a good container tree if fed and watered regularly. Fast growing, up to 1 m per year. Protect from cold while young, but quite hardy once established. Good soils rich with compost. Sun or shade. The roots are not aggressive. Used by birds for roosting, nesting and foraging for insects. The seeds may eaten by some birds. Adult butterflies visit the flowers for nectar. Bees visit the flowers for nectar. Forests, savanna-bushveld and grasslands. Grows in Afromontain forests, rocky outcrops and in woody ravines. Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga may reach 15 m in height with a trunk of 80 cm in diameter at breast height. Smaller white or blanched leaves grow around the flowers, falling and being replaced by bigger green ones when the flowers are gone. The white ones are said to serve pollination needs by indicating the flowers to pollinators on the generally green forest canopy at bloom time.

Combretum kraussii
Combretum kraussii
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