Botanical name

Curtisia dentata

Family

Curticaceae

Common Name

Assegai Tree, Asegaaiboom

Status

Near Threatened

Curtisia dentata
Curtisia dentata
Curtisia dentata
Curtisia dentata
Curtisia dentata

Description

Evergreen shrub or small tree 6 to 13m in height. Bark brown and smooth on younger trees becoming dark brown and square-fissured with age. Leaves opposite, ovate, toothed, glossy green above without hairs, lower surface light green with woolly hairs and very prominent veins; young leaves and leaf buds are covered with dense woolly grey or rusty hairs. Flowers small, inconspicuous, cream, in terminal panicles, with all parts covered with light grey soft hairs.

Fruit almost spherical, about 1cm in diameter, fleshy; 4-seeded. Fruits are bitter but are favoured by birds and baboons.

The wood is not very durable but was found to be suitable for various parts of wagons and for tool handles and at one time was so heavily exploited that fine specimens are now rare.

Wood was also used for assegai shafts.

Habitat

Coastal shady kloofs

Flower Date

January to February