Searsia dentata

Botanical name

Searsia dentata (SA No 381,1)

Other names

Nana-berry; nanabessie (Afrikaans); inklolo (Xhosa)




A branched shrub or small tree, sometimes up to 6 m in height; sometimes deciduous

Description of stem

Red-brown and hairy branchlets

Description of leaves

Alternate and compound with only three leaflets; lighter green on the lower surface; coarsely toothed in the upper half of the leaf, lower half of leaf usually entire

Description of flowers

Axillary and terminal panicles of small yellow flowers

Description of seed/fruit

Bunches of small, nearly round fruit, shiny, yellow but turning red

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation

Grows readily from seed or cuttings; recommended garden item




The seeds are eaten by people, although they are quite sour; in famine conditions mixed with milk by the Zulu and Xhosa

Ecological rarity

Not threatened

Pests and diseases



Adapted to a variety of habitats in its large distribution area


Forests, wooded kloofs, forest margins and scrub slopes

Distribution (SA provinces)

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


South Africa; Namibia; Swaziland; Zimbabwe; Mozambique; Zambia; Malawi

Info Palgrave
Category: Trees