The evergreen Turkey berry exhibits much variability in terms of growth form and size. It adapts to the environment and can grow up to 14m in height in a forest setting. In a more exposed scenario, the tree will generally grow to a height of 3 – 7m with a more spreading habit and rounded crown.
The leaves are glossy and creamy yellow flowers appear in spring. A distinctive characteristic of the tree is the way it grows its thorns in opposite pairs, at perfect right angles to the branches.
After flowering, small greenish nuts appear and these turn brown and stay on the tree for much of the year. The shape of these fruits leads to the Afrikaans name as it resembles antelope droppings!
Birds adore the nuts and make this an excellent tree to attract our feathery friends to the garden. The evergreen Turkey-berry is fairly hardy with smooth pale bark which makes it visually appealing, especially when used as a feature tree in smaller gardens.