Colophospermum_Mopane

Colophospermum mopane (J. Kirk ex Benth.) J. Kirk ex J. Leonard

Category:

Product Description

Description: A medium to large, deciduous tree, usually in dominant stands on grey clay soils at low altitude. Very tolerant of alkaline and poorly drained soils. Single stands are common as “Mopane Woodland” and tall trees sometimes occur in spectacular “gallery” or “cathedral” stands on good soils. The bark is finely ridged and brown. The leaves are a bi-lobed cloven shape and 4-10cm long. The flowers are small, inconspicuous green and hermaphrodite, usually in short sprays. The seedpods are light brown, thin, flat, kidney-shaped envelopes enclosing the thin, veined sliver seed.

Features of Particular Interest: Tall elegant specimen tree, particularly attractive in full leaf.

Height and Spread: 4-18m high, spread 8m.

Periods of Interest

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Leaf

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Flower

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Fruit

X

X

X

X

X

X

Cultivation

Soil and Moisture: fairly soil and moisture tolerant.

Aspect: Able to withstand open situations.

Hardiness: Susceptible to frost, but fairly drought tolerant once established.

Maintenance and Pruning: Not required.

Propagation: Sow under a thin layer of sandy-loam growing medium and water regularly.

Problems and Drawbacks: Has a profusion of leaves that fall in the dry months so avoid placing Mopane up-wind of swimming pools. Growth is slow.

Use and Associated Planting: A stand-alone species.

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Notes: Mopane wood has one of the highest calorific values of all timbers. The rich red-brown wood produces a beautiful finish, but often cracks if used in large pieces. Mopane bark, young leaves and pods are favoured by elephants, which often creates large areas of stunted mopane. The caterpillar of the Gey Emperor Moth (Imbrosia belina) – the well-known “Mopane Worm” is relished by communities in valley areas.

 

Family:
Caesalpinoideae
Genus:
Colophospermum
Species:
mopane
Common Name(s):
Mopane, Mupane
Synonym(s):
Copaifera mopane J. Kirk ex Benth., Hardwickia mopane (J. Kirk ex Benth.) Breteler
Origin:
Africa
Size:
Medium
Features:
Deciduous
References:
Coates Palgrave p.317, Storrs 1 p.77-78, Venter p.142.
Pocket List of S.A Indigenous Trees No.:
198
Zimbabwe Nat. Tree List No.:
246