Tree: Jakkalsbessie (Diospyros mespiliformis)

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richardharris
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Tree: Jakkalsbessie (Diospyros mespiliformis)

Unread post by richardharris »

I tend to visit the mid to northern part of the Park but January 2004 we went south!

On the road between Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge (S4-2) somewhere after the H5 junction there are two huge trees - on the right when going towards Crocodile Bridge. About 100 yards to the side of the road. Very large tree with dark green lush leaves. Would love to know what they are - never knowingly seen them anywhere else.

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Imberbe
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Unread post by Imberbe »

The tree you are referring to is probably the Jackal-Berry (Diospyros mespiliformis) which do grow in that area, and especially next to rivers and drainage lines. They can reach 20 meters in height, and have a huge trunk with a dark and rough bark.

The Jackal-berry is known for its large amount of green berries, which ripen into a yellow fruit after about a year on the tree. This is taken by birds, baboons, antelope, jackal etc.
The fruit is also used by humans for medicinal purposes. It can be eaten, but having tried it, I cant really say that it is very pleasant.
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Elsa
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Unread post by Elsa »

Growing on the H5 near the H4-2 junction, a most magnificent tree.

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Imberbe
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Unread post by Imberbe »

The berry is up to 25 mm in diameter.
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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread post by Rooies »

The Jackal Berry tree is found throughout Africa, from the Sudan to Namibia and in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
It is most commonly found on savanna woodlands where it can be found growing on termite mounds.
In heavy soils the termite mounds provide the tree with aerated soil, and a source of moisture.
The roots provide protection for termites, who don't eat the living wood.
Jackalberry wood is almost termite resistant after it has been cut down.
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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread post by Johnny Joe »

Thanx - so it's actually a symbiosis thing between the tree and the ants - any reason for the predominance of the Jackalberry then?
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Re: miershope en jakkalsbessies

Unread post by Rooies »

The tree prefers moist soil. It grows well in red loams, volcanic and loamy sands. Jackalberry trees are also commonly found along river beds and swampy areas. The fruit of the tee is a favorite of many animals like kudus, nyalas, impalas, warthogs,baboons, parrots and hornbills. The seeds are also found in the dung of jackals, hence the name.

The animals that eat the fruit disperse the seeds and when the seed are dropped by the animals and they fall on soil that does not suit them, the don't germinate. If however, they fall on a termite mound they will start to grow.
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Re: Tree ID Letaba river

Unread post by Imberbe »

:thumbs_up:

And these fruits are not that nice ... edible ... but only if you are desperate.

Animals love them though.
:wink:
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Re: 20 trees in knp for beginners

Unread post by Duke Ellieton »

The Jackalberry:
Grows along most of the river courses in Kruger.
Big tree which can reach up to 20m
Has a roundish canopy
Bark is black-grey.
Fruit eaten by pigeons, brown headed parrots, hornbills
Fallen fruit eaten by kudu, impala and jackals.
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