Trema orientalis

Botanical Name: Trema orientalis (L.) Blume

Synonym:                       T. guineensis (Shumach and Thonn)

Common Name:          Pigeonwood

Plant Family:              Ulmaceae

Origin:                            Africa

References:                   Coates Palgrave p.128, Storrs 1 p.299-300, van Wyk 2 p.309. S.A. No. -, Zimb. No. 46

Description: Medium sized, semi-deciduous tree with a smooth grey bark and spreading canopy, often near water. The leaves are bright green and have finely-toothed margins and 3-veined from the base. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow green and the fruits are small (4-6mm) and purple or black.

Features of Particular Interest:  Attractive tree with light, dappled shade, umbrella shaped.

Height and Spread:  8 – 12m high , 4 – 6m spread.

Periods of Interest:

Leaf:  All year round.

Flowering:  December to February.

Fruiting:  January to June.


Soil and Moisture:  It thrives in any soil.

Aspect:  Plant in full sun or semi shade and water regularly.

Hardiness:  Frost and drought resistant when mature.

Maintenance and Pruning:  Not required.

Propagation:  Relatively easy to germinate from seed in soil/sand potting mixture.

Problems and Drawbacks:  None.

Use and Associated Planting:  Shade tree or specimen. Would make a good shade tree in car parks or avenues. Useful colonizer on degraded ground. The bark, leaves and fruit all yield dark dyes.