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..




Strychnos pungens

Botanical name

Strychnos pungens (SA No 628)

Other names

Spine-leaved monkey orange; stekelblaarklapper (Afrikaans)


Strychnaceae or Loganiaceae


Small tree or shrub, mostly 3 to 5 m

Description of stem

Rough, grey, flaking bark on old, thick trunks, smooth on younger branches; conspicuous lenticels on young branches; without spines but with short spinelike branches

Description of leaves

Elliptic, glabrous, dark green and leathery, ending in a sharp spine at the apex; three-veined, the outer two completing a smaller irregular elliptical pattern than the leaf edge; lighter below than above, smooth, entire margin; short, thick petiole

Description of flowers

Clusters of small white flowers, often slightly greenish

Description of seed/fruit

Green or blue-green, woody-rinded fruit; close to spherical, usually irregularly marked on the surface; hard, usually yellow by midwinter, containing many seeds in an edible pulp

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation





Ripe fruit pulp edible, although the seeds may contain poison; various medicinal uses, including a decoction of the roots that is used for stomach ache and bronchitis

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases



The Indian strychnos species that yields strychnine may have given rise to the name of the genus; pungens refers to the spine on the leaf tip; the wood is yellow, not often used


Bushveld and woodland, rocky hills and sandy patches

Distribution (SA provinces)

Gauteng, Northwest, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape


South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia

Info Palgrave

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