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 Wiborgia, Ursinia and Romulea. 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, Herbs 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 150 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. How to use the Comments facility in the Albums


Any visitor to this Site can now register and log in as a registered user to comment on any Album item. The comment, question or suggestion regarding the selected item is submitted via email to the Editor.


New text or photo material on a South African plant can also be submitted for consideration by registered users. The final editing and posting of accepted material are done on this Site by the Editor only. The Site does not remunerate contributors for such input. Please ensure that the correct name of the photographer and/or author of text is furnished for inclusion with such a posting. All rights are reserved and the Editor’s decision is final.


Other enquiries or general communication regarding the Site can be submitted to the Webmaster.


A Selection of Album Categories

Combretum erythrophyllum

Botanical name

Combretum erythrophyllum (SA No 536)

Other names

River bushwillow; vaderlandswilg (Afrikaans); C. glomeruliflorum




Spreading medium sized, sometimes large deciduous tree of up to 13 m in height; often multistemmed, some may recline at an angle

Description of stem

Light-brown or grey, smooth or mottled; flaking in patches; irregular markings where twigs have disappeared and unevenness in the surface becomes accentuated in older specimens

Description of leaves

Simple, opposite with entire margin; elliptic with tapering base and apex; usually on short lateral twigs; soft, light green and tend to be hairy when young, later leathery and dull green, smooth on top and velvety below; short hairy petiole; bigger and rounder on young trees; in autumn the leaves turn coppery or reddish, creating a strikingly attractive effect

Description of flowers

Creamy yellow axillary spikes, about 2 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter appear in  spring shortly after the young leaves sprout

Desciption of seed/fruit

Four-winged, yellow-brown papery seeds in clusters at the ends of branches remain on the tree through the winter; young fruits are light green and sticky

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation

Grown from seed or truncheons; seeds germinate easily; the young trees are fast growing


Drought resistant


Wood as timber; popular for planting in (bigger) gardens, parks and on street pavements; the gum is used as a varnish; the poisonous roots still used medicinally as a purgative and for treating venereal disease; the dry seeds are used in flower arrangements

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases

Insects eat into the young twigs in autumn, causing them to die and fall off


Erythrophyllum = red leaves; species similar to C. caffrum


Riverine forest, at the edge of open water; when away from water, often thrives where ground water is amply available

Distribution (SA provinces)

Northern Cape; North West; KZN; Mpumalanga; Gauteng; Limpopo


South Africa; Swaziland; Mozambique; Zimbabwe; Zambia











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