Dovyalis caffra is a thorny, evergreen tree or shrub with a moderate growth rate and usually reaching a mature height of 3 to 5m. This tree is found growing naturally in open bushes, wooded grasslands and Acacia woodlands. It is widely distributed in Southern Africa.
The leaves of Kei apple are glossy and oval with a leathery feel. This distinctive characteristic shows that this tree is drought resistant. The bark is rough, corky, white to pale grey and is longitudinally fissured with strong straight spines on the branches. This tree is suitable for bee keeping as the creamy green flowers produced from November to January will be heavily loaded with nectar. The plum-like, yellow fleshy fruits are only born on female plants and are edible.Male and female flowers are on separate plants
Dovyalis caffra can grow well in a wide range of climates but when plants are young, they need to be protected from frost. Dovyalis caffra has long spines and that makes it an excellent addition to a security hedge. Due to the non-invasive nature of its root system, this tree is suitable for many applications in the garden ranging from screening, container plant to bonsai. Dovyalis caffra grows well in well drained soils and once established can be considered waterwise and would only require watering during very dry periods..
You may find stock of this plant at Random Harvest.