Pappea capensis, the jacket plum, is a long-lived, hardy, evergreen, small to medium sized tree with simple, hard-textured and wavy leaves. The greenish, scented flowers are borne on catkins, followed by round green velvety fruits which split open to reveal bright red flesh with a dark brown to black seed imbedded within. It is very tasty.
Pappea capensis has a spreading rounded crown and is valued for its longevity. Pappea capensis is widespread in Southern Africa from the Northern Cape through the drier Karoo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng. This tree is found naturally growing in Savanna grasslands as well as on rocky outcrops.
In spring, new pink bronze leaves appear, blending well with the dark green old leaves making the jacket plum an attractive display in the garden.
It is suitable as a street tree or for shade in parking lots because of its non- aggressive root system and frost tolerance. This tree is also well suited as part of a mixed screen or wind barrier or as part of a natural bush cluster in a wildlife-friendly garden or in large landscapes like parks and golf courses.
Pappea capensis is a great favourite with birds that relish the red fleshy seeds.
You may find stock of this plant at Random Harvest.