Tetradenia riparia (SA Tree List No. 668.2) is a deciduous shrub of South Africa’s north-east and other countries in southern Africa. It may occasionally grow to 5 m. The habitat is forest margins and stream-banks. The specific epithet riparia means growing on river banks.
The plant is dioecious, i.e. male and female flowers occur on separate plants. But propagation from cuttings is so easy that one hardly needs both plants to obtain seed for proliferating garden plants.
The male and female flower spikes differ in length, the female one being up to 2,5 cm while the male spike may become 8 cm long. Flowering occurs before the spring leaves, from midwinter to September.
This is a popular garden plant for warmer climates, growing well in both semi-shade and full sun. It does better when well watered (Schmidt, et al, 2002; Coates Palgrave, 2002).