The Cape Ash. Ekebergia capensis, is a beautiful, tall tree with a lovely canopy. Usually growing to a height of between 8 to 10 m, it could be smaller in cultivation. It is evergreen and can be semi-deciduous in areas with cold, dry winters.
Ekebergia capensis has a spreading crown, up to 8 m wide. The leaves are compound with a glossy, green colour. New growth has a reddish colour and appears in spring. In areas that have colder winters, the foliage turn yellow and then red before falling to the ground. The bark of the Cape Ash is striking with a rough texture and it ranges in colour from light grey to almost black. During spring, inconspicuous, pale flowers emerge that have a fragrant smell, attracting butterflies to the garden. These are followed by fleshy, berry-like fruit that starts off green and matures to a bright, red colour. The fruit is edible and appeal to birds and mammals alike. Male and female flowers are on separate trees.
Ekebergia capensis is a good shade tree with decorative berries that are favoured by birds. It is also a butterfly and moth host plant. The roots of Ekebergia capensis are not considered invasive, but as it is a large tree, care should be taken not to plant it too close to buildings. A fast growing street and shade tree under favourable conditions, Ekebergia capensis thrives in full sun or semi-shade. It is drought tolerant for short periods of time, but is not very frost tolerant and will do better in areas where there is adequate water and mild temperates in winters.
In colder areas the leaves become a beautiful red colour in autumn.
Ekebergia capensis can be planted in sun or semi-shade and makes an excellent street tree.
You may find stock of this plant at Random Harvest.