Ximenia americana var. microphylla, the blue sourplum, is a multi-stemmed shrub or small, thicket-forming tree sometimes reaching 4 m (SA Tree List No. 102). Sometimes a root hemiparasite, attaching some of its roots to those of a nearby tree or trees for using their nutrients; in other cases growing independently, feeding itself.
The bark is grey, varying in roughness sometimes longitudinally fissured or with scattered whitish flecks. Upper branchlets have hard straight spines and are spine-tipped.
This variety is distributed in the northeast of South Africa, in all the provinces north of the Vaal River and in northern KwaZulu-Natal, as well as in central Africa.
The habitat is low altitude, inland, arid woodland, rocky thornbush and bushveld slopes, as well as coastal scrub. It is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org).