Diospyros lycioides subsp. guerkei, sometimes called the quilted bluebush or hoëveldbloubos in Afrikaans, grows north of the Vaal River. It is deciduous and hardy, succeeding in most soils found in the region. The bluebush name comes from blue bark colour, not a very convincing explanation or fitting name!
This specimen was photographed on the Magaliesberg where they are common and the edible fruit enjoyed by many. In this area the plant is more shrub than tree and does not normally reach tree proportions, although it may become 4 m tall elsewhere (SA Tree List No. 605.2).
The subspecies does not overlap much with the other ones of the D. lycioides complex. It may be a species quite on its own. The photo was taken in November, the plant thriving from early rain (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).
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