Trees & Shrubs

Trees & Shrubs

About 1700 tree species are native to Southern Africa; well over 100 more exotic tree species have become DSCF6408naturalised in the region. Gauteng falls within the Grassland Biome, with a small section in northern Gauteng falling into the Savanna (Bushveld) Biome. However, over time, large portions of the original vegetation have been modified due to urbanisation.

South Africa has an incredible variety of organisms. This is because we have so many different ecosystems: the Grasslands of the Highveld; the Vynbos of the Cape; the forests of KwaZulu-Natal; and many more. Each of these unique ecosystems is made up of various habitats which encompass multiple complex communities of plants and animals.

Gauteng is often considered the business central of South Africa and for good reason. Rapid development in this relatively small province has led to the destruction of large areas of natural habitat and will continue to do so unless measures are taken to ensure positive development while preserving biodiversity.

Trees are extremely important to all forms of life and have many uses essential to humanity.  Trees and plants are the lungs of our world because they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen; they filter the air of pollutants; they provide excellent shelter for many animals; they are used as nesting sites for many species; they provide food in the form of fruit; they feed the soil with their wood and leaves; their wood is used for manufacturing of numerous products; and they provide excellent burning material for heat, light and industry. They are also aesthetically pleasing and are used in many different landscaping designs.

Every tree species is unique and offers different benefits to an ecosystem. Variety is the “spice of life” and this can be applied to vegetation. The more tree and plant species that occur within an ecosystem, the greater its value is to the organisms which inhabit the area. This is referred to as heterogeneity and is fundamental to animal biodiversity.

If you have seen a species in the area that is not on the list please contact me so I can add it. Please be aware that if the species you saw is unusual or out of range I will need a photo as verification before I can add it to the list. Email:


Scientific Name

Common Name

1 Acacia caffra Common hook-thorn
2 Acacia karroo Sweet Thorn
3 Acacia mearnsii Black Wattle
4 Acacia melanoxylon Australian Blackwood
5 Acacia podalyriifolia Pearl acacia
6 Acacia robusta Ankle thorn; Brack thorn
7 Acacia sieberiana Paperbark thorn
8 Acokanthera oppositifoloia Common Poison Bush
9 Agave sp
10 Brachylaena rotundata Mountain Silver Oak
11 Buddleja saligna False Olive
12 Buddelja salvifolia Sagewood
13 Calodendrum capensis Cape Chestnut
14 Canthium mundianum
15 Canthium mundianum gilfillanii Velvet rock alder
16 Carissa bispinosa Forest num-num
17 Cassine burkeana Transvall Kooboo Berry
18 Cassine transvaalensis Transvaal saffron
19 Celtis africana White stinkwood
20 Clerodendrum glabrum White Cats Whiskers
21 Combretum erythrophyllum River bush willow
22 Combretum molle Velvet Bushwillow
23 Cotoneaster pannosa Cotoneaster
24 Cryptolepis oblongifolia Bokhoring
25 Cussonia paniculata Mountain Cabbage Tree
26 Dichrostachys cineria Sickle bush
27 Diospyros lycioides Bluebush
28 Diospyros whyteana Bladder-nut
29 Dombeya rotundifolia Common wild pear
30 Dovyalis zeyheri Wild Apricot
31 Ehretia rigida Puzzle bush
32 Englerophytum magalismontanum Transvaal milkplum
33 Eucalyptus camaldulensis Blue gum tree
34 Eucalyptus grandis Flooded gum, Rose gum
35 Euclea crispavar. crispa Blue guarri
36 Euclea schimperi River guarri
37 Euclea undulata Common guarri
38 Euphorbia sp.
39 Ficus ingens Red-leaved fig
40 Gardenia sp.
41 Grewia flava Velvet Raisen
42 Grewia occidentalis Cross-berry
43 Gymnosporia buxifolia Common spike thorn
44 Halleria lucida Tree Fuschia
45 Heteromorpha arborescens Parsley tree
46 Jacaranda mimmosfolia Jacaranda tree
47 Lannea edulis Wild grape
48 Lantana camara Tick Berry
49 Lantana rugosa Birds Brandy
50 Lippia javanica Fever Tea
51 Lopholaena platyphylla Broad-leaved fluff bush
52 Maerua cafra Common bush-cherry
53 Maytenus polyacantha
54 Melia azedarach Syringa tree
55 Mundulea sericea Cork bush
56 Mystroxylon aethiopicum Kooboo-berry
57 Nerium oleander Oleander
58 Nuxia congesta Common Wild Elder
59 Olea europaea subsp. africana Wild olive
60 Opuntia ficus-indica Prickly Pear
61 Osysris lanceolata Rock Tannin Bush
62 Ozoroa sp. Resin tree
63 Pappea capensis Jacket-plum
64 Parinari capensis Dwarf Mobola
65 Pavetta gardeniifolia Christmas bride’s bush
66 Pinus pinaster Cluster pine
67 Pittosporum viridiflorum Cheesewood
68 Populus canescenes Grey Poplars
69 Protea caffra Common Protea
70 Rhus dentata Nana-berry
71 Rhus discolor Grassveld Karree
72 Rhus dura
73 Rhus lancea Karree
74 Rhus Leptodictya Mountain Karree
75 Rhus pyroides Common wild current
76 Rhynchosia nitens Ferweelboontjie
77 Robinia pseudoacacia Black locust
78 Sarcostemma viminale Rapunzel plant
79 Scolopia zeyheri Thorn pear
80 Senecio barbertonicus Barberton Groundsel
81 Solanum mauritianum Bug tree/ Bugweed
82 Seriphium plumosum Bankrupt bush/ Slangbos
83 Strychnos pungens Spine-leaved monkey-orange
84 Tapinanthus natalitius Natal mistletoe/ Birdlime bush
85 Tapinanthus rubromarginatus Red Mistletoe
86 Tapiphyllum parvifolium Wild Medlar
87 Tecomeria capensis Cape honeysuckle
88 Vangueria infausta African Medlar
89 Zanthoxylum capense Small knobwood
90 Ziziphus mucronata Buffalo-thorn
91 Ziziphus zeyheriana Dwarf Buffalo Thorn