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Searsia chirindensis


Water Needs

moderate; water wise

Searsia chirindensis
Shrub large; Tree small
Red Currant; Bos-taaibos

3 - 20 m


Light Conditions

sun; semi-shade




cream-green; spring summer autumn

Garden Situation

sun; semi-shade; small area trees; wildlife birds; screen


woodland forest; fynbos; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn


Thicket; subtropical east coast; western cape; bushveld savanna

Rain Season

winter; summer

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The well-known Red Currant, or Bos-taaibos, produces its heavy crop of fruits at this time of year. An attractive shade tree, it tolerates both shade and sun, growing naturally in forests, thick riverine bush, and on rocky hillsides throughout much of the country. Leaves are characteristically tri-pinnate with woody spines covering the stems. Another single-sexed tree, the Red Currant is a fast grower that, in a forest situation, can grow up to 20 m tall with a 1.3 m diameter trunk. It copes with light frost. Monkeys and birds eat fruits, and the leaves browsed by antelope. Prune lower branches from early on if a tree shape is required; otherwise, the Red Currant makes an attractive, dense screen.

Searsia chirindensis
Searsia chirindensis
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