The Bushman’s tea is an evergreen to semi-deciduous tree with a slender and upright canopy resembling the blue-gum tree from a distance. This shrub to small tree can reach a mature height of 10m when growing conditions are ideal. The leaves of this tree were used in teas by the Bushmen hence the common name Bushman’s tea.
Leaves are simple, opposite and elliptic to oblong. They are also glossy green above and lighter below. They turn yellow in Autumn adding on to the beauty of this tree. This tree also produces pale greenish yellow to lemon-yellow flowers from April to June. These flowers appear on the tree in clusters. The blooms are followed by reddish brown fruits which will be in the form of capsules. The fruits will split in summer to release narrowly winged seeds.
Catha edulis is drought resistant and will happily grow in poor soils with good drainage. Catha edulis is quite an attractive container plant and is ideal for small townhouse gardens. This tree can be planted singly in small spaces or group together for a forested feel. It is used medicinally to treat respiratory diseases. In North Africa the leaves are either brewed as tea or chewed as a stimulating narcotic drug.
This tree grows well in full sun, but will also tolerate partial sun and even shade. It also prefers loamy, free-draining soils, and minimal watering.
This beautiful tree will provide a year round appeal in your garden.