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Products > Schotia afra var. angustifolia
Schotia afra var. angustifolia - Karoo Boerboon

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Caesalpiniaceae (~Fabales)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Guaiacum afrum]
Height: 15-25 feet
Width: 15-30 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Schotia afra var. angustifolia (Karoo Boerboon) - This is a small tree, often with multiple branches, growing to 15-25 feet tall and spreading wider than tall. It has dark green, small narrow leaflets and clusters of red flowers in late spring and early summer. These flowers produce a copious amount of nectar, which attracts birds and are followed by large rounded green seed pods that age to black. It is these seed that gave this and other indigenous South African plants with edible seeds the name Boerboon, which was later translated to Boer Bean. Our plants are grown from seed collected in Franceschi Park in Santa Barbara, CA. Dr. Francescho Franceschi was credited with the introduction of Schotia afra into cultivation in the U.S though we are not sure whether he introduced the coastal variety afra or this variety angustifolia, which comes from inland areas of Namaqualand and Namibia. In these locales its typical habitat is along seasonal dry riverbeds. The name angustifolia, meaning narrow leaves, is fitting as the many leaflets (up to 18 pairs) are as thin as 5/32 of an inch (4 mm). Plant in full sun in a well-drained dry soil and water occasionally though, once established it can thrive with no supplemental irrigation and little care. It is hardy to 20-25° F. This tree is noted as not messy and its roots are not invasive or destructive. The name Schotia honors Richard van der Schot, the chief gardener of the Imperial Garden at Schönbrun Austria  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Schotia afra var. angustifolia.