Grewia is a genus of shrubs and trees in the Malvaceae or hibiscus family, previously in the Tiliaceae or jute family. Some species have furrowed or four-angled stems and some plants scramble.
The alternate leaves usually have toothed margins and three to seven veins from the base of each blade. Stipules are present, positioned laterally.
The bisexual flowers grow in stem-tip or axillary panicles or in leaf-opposed or axillary cymes, sometimes solitary from axils. The five sepals are oblong or spoon-shaped with hairs, sometimes star-shaped ones on the outside surfaces and often petal-coloured inside.
The five petals are shorter than the sepals, usually clawed and with a nectar-bearing appendage at the base. Petal colours vary, including yellow, white, pink or purple.
The numerous stamens grow in a central mass from a ring-shaped extension of the receptacle called the androgynophore. The superior ovary is two or four-chambered. The style is longer than the ovary and sometimes lobed.
The fruit is a one- to four-lobed fleshy drupe.
There are about 400 Grewia species occurring in Africa, Asia and Australia, 27 of which in southern Africa.
The edible fruits are sought after by birds, animals and in some cases people. Many of the plants are browsed, sometimes heavily. Common names like raisin, brandybush and crossberry abound for these plants locally, with variations of them emphasising specific features. Indigenous people used to weave baskets from thin branches of some species, or may still do so.
The plant in picture is Grewia robusta (Leistner, (Ed.), 2000; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2015; Coates Palgrave, 2002; Wilsenach, 1995; Codd, 1951).