Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Metalasia, Brabejum and Bauhinia. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Shrubs and Trees into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 160 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Parks and Gardens Album is the one on the Quiver Tree Forest.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Vangueria infausta

Botanical name

Vangueria infausta

Other names

Wild medlar; mispel (Afrikaans); umtulwa (Zulu); mothwanyê (Tswana)




A small deciduous tree, usually 2 to 4 m in height, occasionally up to 7 m

Description of stem

Bark grey, sometimes pinkish, smooth, but peeling and rough in small irregular patches; hairs on young twigs; trunk often convoluted, multistemmed and uneven

Description of leaves

Simple, opposite, elliptic, hairy, light to yellow-green; apex and base tapering; margin entire; netveining prominent on lower surface; leaf often broadly undulating or twisted; size quite variable, reaching over 20 cm in length and 5 cm in width; galls caused by insects are commonly found on the leaf surface

Description of flowers

Yellow to whitish flowers clustered along the small twigs; appear in spring; the petals disappear early

Desciption of seed/fruit

Light brown spherical, soft fruit of over 3 cm in diameter appear in summer into autumn; 3 to 5 seeds are embedded in a soft pulp

Description of roots



Leaf shape

Propagation and cultivation

Can be grown from cuttings and seed, but is seldom found in cultivation; the seeds are taken out of the pulp, dried and beaten to weaken the covering before planting


Hardy, drought resistant, moderately cold resistant


Roots used in treatment of malaria and pneumonia; fruits are eaten by many wild animals and by people; it is quite popular with many as a veld fruit; sometimes the fruits are made into a pulp as a substitute for apple sauce in puddings, if the infestation by insects can be overcome! The alcoholic beverage, mampoer, has been distilled from the fruit

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



Said to bring bad luck as reflected in the name 'infausta', but only some indigenous populations avoid using it


In grassland, on wooded hills and among rocks in summer rainfall areas

Distribution (SA provinces)

Northern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, North West, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga


South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar


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