With summer upon us with its warm, sunny days we are all looking for welcome relief from the heat. Syzygium guineese is an indigenous tree that will provide deep shade in your garden. A medium to large tree, the Water pear can grow to a height of 15 to 20m and does not have an invasive root system, making it suitable for urban planting.
The foliage is evergreen with a dark, glossy colour and new leaves have an attractive, purplish-red colour. One of the best features of the tree is its bark. When young, the tree has smooth, pale coloured bark that contrasts beautifully with the green foliage. As the tree matures, the bark becomes rough and flaky, with a grey to dark brown hue.
From August to December, the Water pear produces small, creamy flowers with a delicate fragrance that will entice butterflies and bees with its nectar. Fruit appear from December to April, maturing from green to a dark purple when ripe. The fruit is edible for humans, birds and wildlife and contains a single rounded seed.
Widespread through Africa, Syzygium guineese occurs naturally in northern Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. As the name suggests, the tree prefers moist, well-drained soils with a high water table, but can also be found in open woodlands.
The Water pear is a hardy specimen that can tolerate mild drought conditions, and when young, the tree should be protected from the cold. The tree has many landscape uses as it can be utilised as a street or sidewalk tree, a specimen tree or to provide protection from the wind or noise. This handsome tree will enhance your garden.