The uncommon Teclea gerrardii is predominantly found in Kwa-Zulu Natal, but can be spotted from the Eastern Cape to the southern Mozambique. Also known as the Zulu cherry-orange, the tree is evergreen and the fruit very attractive to birds and other wildlife.
A small to medium sized tree, the Teclea gerrardii grows to a height of 5 m under optimum conditions. The leaves are three foliate and dull green with a leathery texture. When crushed, the foliage has an aromatic citrus fragrance. Inconspicuous greenish flowers appear in small clusters from August to January. The fleshy, spherical fruit are borne from November to June and turn from a velvety green to a bright reddish orange when mature. The fruits are a particular favourite of various bird species and monkeys.
Slow- growing, the Flaky Cherry-orange has striking bark detail. When young, the bark is a pale grey-brown, but as the tree matures, it cracks and flakes in patches exposing an orange hued underbark. This ornamental tree grows well in sunny or shady positions and will invite wildlife to your garden. Teclea gerrardii is also an excellent indigenous alternative to the invasive Eugenia uniflora.