Canon PowerShot S51S
PLEASE VIEW LARGE.
The tree on which these lovely pods kierieklapper /raasblaar (Afrikaans) grow, is most often seen around pans, in rocky areas and sometimes on stream banks. It is common in the Lowveld of South Africa.
The seed pods are characteristically the four-winged Combretum shape, but rather smaller than those of similar-sized Combretum trees.
The tree has an overall coppery appearance often from January to July, owing to the presence of large numbers of red-brown pods borne conspicuously on the canopy. It is densely branched, with new young branches forming very straight, upward shoots. The bark is dark grey, rough with longitudinal grooves that sometimes peel off.
The leaves are eaten by kudu, impala, steenbok, elephant and giraffe.
Human uses – The wood is used as supports in mines, and to make pick and hoe handles. Straight branches are used to make kieries (walking sticks). The seeds are used to make tea.
Gardening – This is not an attractive garden plant, other than in autumn when it is covered by coppery seeds. It should grow well in most gardens as it is drought-resistant and can withstand fairly severe frost.
Flowers – Sweet-scented, white-cream to yellow flower spikes appear from August to October, just before or after the leaves; often in scars left by old leaves.(Each spike: 60 mm)
Pods – The four-winged pods borne in prominent branches are characteristically Combretum . They are brilliant russet-red in summer, changing to a light, coppery-brown later in the season. Pods remain on the tree for long periods – often until July.
A laminated print
I took this photo near Nysltroom (South Afrtica) while walking in the veld, enjoying the fresh air and the beauty of nature: grass, trees and wonderful copper coloured pods like these! ;-)