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 Paranomus, Hoodia and Hesperantha. 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, Succulents and Bulbs 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 Regions Album is the one on the Langkloof. A new Parks and Gardens Album for the Caledon Wildflower Garden has also been created from existing material.


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..




Schotia brachypetala

Botanical name

Schotia brachypetala

Other names

Weeping boer-bean; African walnut; parrot tree; huilboerboon (Afrikaans)




A large, spreading, leguminous tree with a round crown, up to 16 m in height

Description of stem

Brown or grey and rough; a single stem tree, branching may commence low down

Description of leaves

Imparipinnate with 4 to 6 pairs of opposite leaflets; oblong, characteristically asymmetric with entire margins, sometimes hairy and wavy; young leaves lighter green and shiny, sometimes reddish for a short period, making the spring appearance very attractive; mature leaves are dark and glossy

Description of flowers

Dense panicles of maroon flowers appear on the old wood, with the short petals often falling early (brachypetala = short petals), leaving the conspicuous filaments on show; the dripping nectar produced in profuse quantities in spring, before the normal summer rainy season, causes the 'weeping' alluded to in the common name; the flowering time varies between regions and even between individual trees; a five year old tree will normally flower; attracts a variety of birds (including parrots) and insects

Desciption of seed/fruit

Flat and hard pod of up to 10 cm in length, containing light-brown flat, hard seeds attached to a conspicuous yellow aril

Description of roots



Flower colour and flowering season variations

Propagation and cultivation

Grown from seed or truncheons; seed germinates very easily; the tree is slow growing in colder, drier climates and may remain smaller, faster in warmer, high rainfall parts of its distribution range


Does not thrive in too dry climates


Planted in bigger gardens, parks and along streets as an ornamental tree; a bark decoction has been used for the treatment of heartburn and hangovers, also for dysentry and diarrhoea; the mature seeds are sometimes roasted and eaten; the leaves are browsed by game

Ecological rarity

Common, not threatened

Pests and diseases



As elephants are said to become intoxicated from marula fermenting in the sun, there is a report (with picture) from Sydney's Botanical Garden in Australia of a rainbow lorikeet indulging in S. brachypetala nectar in the sun, apparently capable of becoming intoxicated if the fermentation of the sugary liquid proceeds far enough according to the local Garden Curator (!


Dry bushveld, deciduous woodland, along river banks

Distribution (SA provinces)

Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West


South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana

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