Diospyros lycioides is a very hardy, deciduous, drought resistant, fast growing large shrub or small tree with an open crown and drooping branches. It can reach a height of about 5m. Leaves are simple, alternate and sparsely hairy. The descriptive name ‘Bluebush’ refers to the distinctive blue-green colour of the foliage, that display flashes of red during the cool, dry autumn. The bark of this tree is dark grey to brown and has a smooth texture on mature specimens. This tree bears sweetly scented, white bell-shaped flowers from September to December.The flowers attract butterflies and other insects. The edible berries are large, red and decorative and also attract birds. Only female plants bear fruit.
Diospyros lycioides is normally found growing naturally in rocky habitats. Its distribution stretches from Limpopo in the north to KwaZulu-Natal in the south-east.
The Bluebush is a very decorative tree for the garden, when planted as a specimen tree, it will look stunning especially when covered with the red fruit. This tree is very successful as a container plant. It grows well either in full sun or semi-shade conditions and is an excellent plant to train as bonsai. Diospyros lycioides is very drought resistant and cold hardy, enabling it to tolerate adverse conditions. It is known as a pioneer species for wildlife gardens.
A fine-leaved form occurs in the Freestate that is also very attractive.
You may find stock of this plant at Random Harvest.