The yellowwood family is primeval and has been present in this
part of Africa for more than 100 million years. The species is
widespread and is found from Table Mountain, along the southern
and eastern Cape coast, in the ravines of the Drakensberg up to
the Soutpansberg and the Blouberg in Limpopo.
In forests, they can grow up to 40 metres in height with the base
of the trunk sometimes up to 3 metres in diameter. In contrast,
trees that grow in unsheltered places like mountain-slopes, are
often short, bushy and gnarled. The bark of the real yellowwood
is khaki-coloured to grey when it is old, deeply split and peels
off in strips. The crown is relatively small in relation to its
height and is often covered with grey lichen. Male and female
cones resemble pine cones and are white, light green or pink.
The female cone has a fleshy podocarpium on which the seed,
which takes on the shape and colour of a cherry, develops.
Brownell, FG, Nasionale en Provinsiale Simbole. 1993.
Johannesburg: Chris van Rensburg Publications.
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