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

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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  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Schotia afra var. angustifolia.
 
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