Fever tree

Elizabeth Kendall

Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa

Artist's Description

Koorsboom (Acacia xanthophloea) is ’n boom wat kan groei tot ’n hoogte van 25 meter. Die hoogste koorsboom in Suid-Afrika is egter 30,5m hoog en staan op die plaas Antonvilla in die distrik Messina.
Die bas kleur is lemmetjie-groen tot groen-geel en is glad met ’n geel poeier op die oppervlakte. Die boom het lang reguit dorings wat in pare voorkom. Die boom het dubbel-veervormige, saamgestelde blare.
Vroeë pioniers in Suid-Afrika het geglo dat hierdie boom koors veroorsaak aangesien die mense wat in die gebiede gereis het waar die bome voorkom koors ontwikkel het. Die bome kom voor in gebiede wat moerasagtig is waar muskiete broei wat malaria dra wat wel die oorsaak van die koors was.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nature
Foto geneem naby Musina, Suid-Afrika.
Canon PowerShot S51S
INFO
The fever tree is an attractive, semi-deciduous to deciduous tree approximately 15 to 25 meters tall and has an open, rounded to spreading or flattish crown which is sparsely foliated. The characteristic, almost luminous, lime green to greenish-yellow bark is smooth, slightly flaking, and coated in a yellow powdery substance described by some as sulphurous. If the powdery surface is rubbed away with the finger it will reveal a green bark beneath. Young twigs have a red-brown bark which peels off leaving the twigs sulphur yellow. The long straight white thorns are arranged in pairs and although they are very significant on young trees they often become barely noticeable on mature specimens.

Bright yellow, golden, ball-like flowers which are sweetly scented are borne in clusters on shortened side shoots at the nodes and towards the ends of branches. Flowering occurs from August or September to November. Flowers are followed by the production of yellowish- brown to brown pods which split open to reveal the small hard brown seeds, which may be harvested from January to April.

The genus name Acacia is derived from the greek word acantha meaning spine, thorn or prickle and the species name xanthophloea is derived from the greek words xanthos meaning yellow and phloios meaning bark.

The fever tree occurs mainly in depressions and shallow pans where underground water is present or surface water collects after summer rains. It is also found in low-lying swampy areas, along the margins of lakes and on river banks. It often forms pure, dense stands of closed woodland in seasonally flooded areas on alluvial soils. This tree can be found from Kenya in the north to KwaZulu Natal in the south. It is a prominent feature in the lowveld region of South Africa.
FEATURED in INSPIRED by LIFE
25 Jan. 2012.

Artwork Comments

  • David Clarke
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