This week we are looking at the majestic Nyala tree. Found in the southern parts of Africa, this evergreen, riverine tree can grow to a height of 30m. The tree starts branching quite low down and has shiny, dark green, compound leaves.
The trunk of the Nyala tree is massive and often appears to be composed of stems twisted together, giving it a gnarled look. The bark is rough and does not peel, but is cracked into small irregular pieces.
Sweet scented flowers appear from November to December in sprays at the end of branches and are followed by green, grape-like fruit. The fruit turns dark brown from March and stays on the tree for most of the year. Monkeys, baboons and birds feed on the fruit in the tree and elephant and buck will eat the fruit that has fallen from the tree.
The Nyala tree is slow growing and thrives in clay soils, but is neither frost- nor drought-resistant. This beautiful shade tree is plentiful in the Kruger National Park where it grows along the rivers, especially in the northern area of the park.