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Tree: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

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Mr.G
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Tree: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

Unread postby Mr.G » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:40 pm

Hi
I have 3 of these trees growing in my garden on my plot and connot find what tree it is. Any help will be aprecciated.

Here is some pic's of different trees. Blooming, seeds, roots, ect.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Hope I can have it identified......
Thank you for the help.

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CuriousCanadian
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby CuriousCanadian » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:44 pm

:hmz:
Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:41 pm

Jakkalsbessie would be able to give you a definite answer. She knows her trees. I may be mistaken but that looks like what old people called a Tosselbessie in Afrikaans. I'll see if I can find the English name. Found it. Tasselberry. Antidesma venosum. Also found in the Kruger National Park.
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Mr.G
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby Mr.G » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:18 pm

Thank you....but the trees fruit is not purple. The Tasselberry shows to be a purple fruit.

Could it be family of the Boabab?

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Jakkalsbessie
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:00 am

Hi Mr.G,

Your tree is a Belhambra / Pokeberry tree... Phytolacca dioica or in afrikaans Bobbejaandruifboom.

It was introduced from South-America and is unfortunately a declared Category 3 invasive plant in South Africa.
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby Mr.G » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:53 am

Thank you for the reply....very unfortunate,very nice tree.

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Imberbe
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby Imberbe » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:47 pm

Just to add.

The fruit, leaves and roots of this tree is poisonous. It has caused animal deaths and is potentially fatal to humans. The level of toxicity do seem to vary considerably. This plant has been used to combat bilharzia, by using its poisonous properties against the host water snails.
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby RosemaryH » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:54 pm

Thanks Jakkalsbessie and Imberbe :clap:
I was trying to id this one :wall: :) Some interesting and important info given here. Amazed at how much one learns from this forum :clap: :clap:
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Re: Unknown tree

Unread postby Mr.G » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:13 am

Since this I have had a close look at my animals and these trees.

I have noticed that goats,sheep and cows seem to eat this without any effects.

Could be because they grew up with these trees.

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Re: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

Unread postby hfglen » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:50 pm

Yonks ago there used to be one at Pilanesberg. The lower leaves were trimmed most beautifully level about 2.5 m above the ground and remained like that for years after the reserve was established. It turned out this was for the same reason that it remained one tree. The kudu love it to bits, literally, and any seedling that appeared above the ground rapidly became dinner.

Talking of dinner -- see the huge and very characteristic base to mr G's tree? The friend who showed me the Pilanesberg tree was one day chuckling merrily at the stupidity of gardeners. Turned out he'd been taken out to a very larney restaurant newly established in an old house in Sandton. The new owners had planted a baby belhambra in the garden -- one metre away from the kitchen wall!
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Re: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

Unread postby Claire1 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:45 pm

Could you possibly give an approx age of the tree in this pic? The Arts Theatre in George has an enormous Belhambra and we would love to age it. The tree stands about 9m high and and has numerous off shoots from the base of its trunk which is about 3m in diametre.
There is an adjoining building which is approx 4m from the base of the tree. Do you think this tree could damage the building (which doesnt belong to the theatre)?
Thanks for your input.
Much appreciated.

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Re: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

Unread postby Imberbe » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:44 pm

You will have to cut it down and count the year rings ... :wink: :D

Sorry, can't help you with an answer, but it must be old if the diameter is 3 meters! If it has not yet damaged the building, the chances are slim ... unless it falls on the building.

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Re: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

Unread postby frangelico » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:27 pm

We had an enormous Belhambra that had an extensive system of trunks and roots (up to 12m in extent) and shady canopies that shielded a huge area of garden where we lived on a school property - the old house we lived in was an hotel in the 1800s and I reckon this tree must've been at least 100 years old - sadly it was removed during the school 'renovations and development' but I took a small rootling from its base (which housed a ginormous natural beehive which oozed honey) when we moved 12 years ago and it is developing into a beautiful tree with its leaf and fruiting cycles already attracting the glorious Knysna Loeries - the old tree housed at least 11 Loeries who feated blissfully from the berries - as did the goats and tortoises. To me while it may be the same genus or whatever as the inkberry it's not nearly as noxious or insiduous - it has so many good properties. I find it heartbreaking to cut down some non invasive so-called exotics simply because they are now classified 'alien'. Here are two sites with useful info for you

http://coolexotics.com/plant-332.html"

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Re: Belhambra / Pokeberry tree (Phytolacca dioica)

Unread postby bishop3006 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:09 pm

I read of the toxicity of this plant, and think of the times I've eaten the somewhat bitter-tasting fruit, been given it by others who also professed to eating it often, and even giving it to my children! :hmz:
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