• Trees

    of the Crocodile River Reserve

    Buffalo Thorn Tree

Trees and Shrubs of the Crocodile River Reserve

Since the beginning of time, trees have supplied us with the two essentials for life – food and oxygen. As we evolved, we found that they also could  provide shelter, medicine, and tools. Today, we often forget their value – with many believing that trees only offer a ‘pretty view’.

It must be remembered that trees form part of the Grassland Biome and are vital to the earth in the sense that they are the lungs of the planet; converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and filtering the air of pollutants. Trees provide food and shelter for many species and stabilise and feed the soil with their leaves and fruit.

With the rapid development that has taken place in Gauteng, large areas of natural habitat have been destroyed in the name of business and housing, which is why the Crocodile River Reserve is so important as a measure to preserving our unique grassland biodiversity.

The Reserve supports a variety of habitats including grasslands, bushveld clumps and the Crocodile River which forms part of the Crocodile (West) Marico catchment. It has been identified as being important in that it provides large intact areas of natural habitat.

The Crocodile River Reserve is also home to geoxylic plants or “underground trees” which are trees that are almost entirely buried and can live for more than 10,000 years in the savannahs of southern Africa and South America.

Our  List of  Favourite Trees

Buffalo Thorn
Common Cabbage Tree
Common Hook Thorn
Common Resin Tree
Common Wild Current
Large Sourplum
Large-leaved Rock Fig
Mountain Karee
Puzzle Bush
River Bushwillow
Small Knobwood
Sweet Thorn
White Pear
White Stinkwood
Wild Medlar
Wild Olive

Explore our Tree Articles

Tree Walk in the Crocodile River Reserve

A Successful Tree Walk in March 2021

The Tree Walk held in the Crocodile River Reserve offered an insightful and easy to understand introduction to the day, starting with the structure of leaves and how to use this to identify a tree. What followed was a walk through the beautiful veld of the Reserve during which we identified a variety of trees - such as the fascinating underground tree Lannae Aedulis, the Diospyros Lycioides (Blue Bush), the common but beautiful Acacia Karroo (Sweet Thorn) and the Protea Caffra Trees but to name a few.
March 24, 2021/by admin
Large Sourplum

Large Sourplum

The ripe fruits of the Ximenia Caffra or Sourplum are eaten by birds such as barbets, bulbuls and starlings and mammals such as giraffe, impala, kudu, grey duiker, steenbok, bushbuck and eland enjoy eating it's leaves. The larvae of a number of butterflies feed on the leaves, some examples being the Bush Scarlet butterfly, Natal and Silvery bar, Bowker's and Saffron sapphire and the Brown playboy.
February 24, 2021/by admin
Lannea Edulis

Lannea Edulis

Lannea edulis has shiny green leaves that are hairy when young and leathery when matured, with creamy white flowers from August to October. It bears bright red ovoid berries from October to December that become purplish black when they become ripe, which have a juicy and pleasantly sour flavour and are eaten by mice, birds and humans.
February 23, 2021/by admin
Buffalo Thorn Tree

Buffalo Thorn Tree

The Buffalo Thorn Tree is widely used for magical and medicinal purposes because of the spines or thorns, which are paired; One is hooked, and the other is straight. According to Nguni legend, the thorns of the Ziziphus tell us something about ourselves - that we must look ahead to the future (straight thorns) but we must never forget where we have come from (hooked thorns).
February 23, 2021/by admin