The Karee is low maintenance evergreen tree with a loose rounded crown. On higher altitudes, it is found growing naturally along rivers and streams. On lower altitudes, this tree can grow in open grassland plains where there is sufficient moisture. The Karee can adapt to a variety of planting scenarios making it an ideal tree in our harsh South African climate. This tree can reach a mature height of 9m.
This single stemmed, low branching tree has an almost willowy appearance, creating a soft accent in the garden. The dark green leaves are trifoliate with a narrow shape. When crushed, the leaves produce an aromatic smell. The coarsely textured bark is dark grey to brown in older branches and reddish-brown on younger branches. Flowering takes place from June to September and the very small flowers are sweetly scented. These are followed by round fruits which are edible. The fruits attract several bird species to the garden.
Searsia lancea makes a valuable fodder tree especially in areas hit by drought. The leaves are also browsed by game (kudu, roan and sable). The wood make termite proof fence. Because of its non-invasive root system, S.lancea is suitable for planting in a smaller garden. The crown density of this tree makes it ideal for screening. This tree can also survive poor soil conditions hence its use in rehabilitating mine dumps. The Karee can be planted as a pioneer plant for establishing a new forest in an area that receives frost.