The colourful, indigenous Peltophorum africanum is a wildlife friendly tree that attracts insects and animals alike throughout the year.
Growing to a height of between 5 to 7 m and even higher, the tree, also known as the African Wattle, provides welcome shade during the hot months with its large, acacia-like, feathery leaves. It has a rounded, spreading crown that is most attractive. The semi-deciduous tree has a low branching habit, and during winter the aesthetically pleasing shape of the branches is revealed. Younger branches display smooth, grey bark whereas more mature branches have grooved grey brown bark. The tree does not have any thorns.
From November to February bright, yellow flowers bloom on the ends of the branches in upright, showy sprays. The flowers have crinkled petals and produce copious amounts of pollen and nectar, attracting insects, bees and butterflies. After flowering, long, dark brown to black seedpods appear in clusters that can stay on the tree for most of the year.
The Weeping Wattle has a fairly fast growth rate of up to 1 m per year under favourable conditions. It is a hardy tree that can withstand drought and cold conditions, but care should be taken to protect young trees from frost. The root system is fairly large, depending on the size of the tree.
The versatile Wattle does well as an ornamental street tree, providing shade and colour during the warm months and allowing sun to penetrate during the colder months. The tree will provide year round interest and aid in enticing birds and other wildlife to the garden.