The camphor bush, Tarchonanthus camphoratus (SA Tree List No. 733), is noted for its strong survival tendencies. In spite of wide-ranging challenges faced in varied habitat and climate conditions, effective adaptations safeguard this durable feature of many African landscapes.
The tree may be burnt to ground level in bush fires, but will resprout strongly. It will stay alive through extended drought periods. Poor soil of various compositions are taken in its unmoving stride. It may be tossed about in sea salt spray or strong desert winds and will just wave to all that may be around. Such resilience is not always appreciated. Many farmers look upon this hardy tree as a noxious weed, hard to eradicate.
This flowering specimen was seen in the Pilanesberg with yellowish to pale grey flowerheads in midwinter; the tree’s strong flowering season. The other flowering season? All year round (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).