This evergreen to semi-deciduous shrub/tree is a very decorative, neat shade tree that is ideal to attract a wide variety of birds to your garden.
The Tasselberry generally grows to a height of 4 – 5m and has a dense rounded crown. Although the plant can be scrambling, it can be trained to have a clear stem. This tree produces male and female flowers on separate plants from October to January and only the female trees produce the sought after berries. The male flowers are pale yellow to greenish, while the female flowers are predominantly of a reddish colour and are carried on drooping spikes of catkins. The Tasselberry flowers have an unpleasant smell that attracts butterflies and insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that increase pollination.
The fruit occur from January to August in the form of showy pendulous bunches. The berries mature at a different rate so that berries of white, green red, yellow and black are all bound on the same ‘bunch’. These distinctive ‘tassels’ of berries give the tree its’ name. The berries are edible and will attract a wide variety of wildlife and birds to your space. The Antidesma venosum is sensitive to frost, but can handle fairly cold conditions and needs average water to survive.
The Tasselberry is often used as hedging or a screening tree in frost free coastal areas, but will adapt to Highveld conditions if in a protected position against frost.