Scolopia zeyheri

Botanical name

Scolopia zeyheri (SA No 498)

Other names

Thorn pear; doringpeer (Afrikaans)




Spiny shrub or small tree of around 7 m, occasionally a large tree of over 20 m; sometimes deciduous

Description of stem

Erect stem or multi-trunked, smooth grey bark, darkening with age and becoming rough and flaking; heavily spined dry branches often persist on the trunk; axillary woody spines occur on the young twigs

Description of leaves

Usually lanceolate, alternate, hairless, glossy and leathery, dark green above, lighter below; visible net-veining on both surfaces, sometimes appears to have a waxy covering on the leaf surface; margin often mildly toothed, but sometimes entire; apex sometimes rounded, often tapering and pointed; base tapering; young leaves sometimes partly light red

Description of flowers

Axillary inflorescence dense or loosely structured raceme of small white, cream or yellow flowers on short stalks, protruding stamens, a noticeable calyx, style tip divided; flowering in autumn to spring

Desciption of seed/fruit

Round red berry with a fine tip at the apex, appearing in winter or spring

Description of roots



Leaf shape

Propagation and cultivation

Not often cultivated?


Adapted to a variety of environmental conditions in its diverse distribution area


Browsed by game; monkeys eat the berries; trunks used for poles and rafters from the Uluguru mountains in Tanzania (ST Mwihomeke et al (undated) for WCST in

Ecological rarity

Not threatened

Pests and diseases

Hosts spider mites


Wood is hard and heavy


At the edges of indigenous forests at coastal levels and inland; in open bushveld; sometimes on termite mounds

Distribution (SA provinces)

Western Cape; Eastern Cape; Kwazulu-Natal; Free State; Mpumalanga; Gauteng; Limpopo; North West


South Africa; Lesotho; Swaziland; Botswana; Mozambique; Zimbabwe; Tanzania; Angola; Malawi

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