Skip to main content
A picture of a River Bushwillow

River Bushwillow

Combretum erythrophyllum

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of River Bushwillow

Combretum erythrophyllum
Red autumn leaves
A photo of River Bushwillow

River Bushwillow Overview

The River willowbush is found along riverbanks in Southern Africa. It has also become popular as a garden tree in South Africa and the United States, due to its yellow-cream flowers and hardened nature. Giraffe, elephant and and antelope enjoy its leaves, while its wood, gum, roots and fruits have various practical uses, from medicine to dye and varnish.

Common problems with River Bushwillow

Wasps often lay their eggs inside the fruits, where newly hatched larvae feed on the fruits. Birds enjoy pecking these insects from inside the fruits.

How to harvest River Bushwillow

Generally not harvested.

How to propagate River Bushwillow


Soak fresh seeds in water for some hours before planting. Seedlings should appear within two weeks of being planted.


You can propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in the summer.

Special features of River Bushwillow

Attracts birds

Birds such as the Southern Black Tit are known to eat the fruit, especially to access the insects inside.

Drought resistant

The hardened nature of the River bushwillow make it popular in arid areas.

Autumn colour

Leaves colour in hues of red, orange and yellow during autumn.

Attracts butterflies

Attractive flowers

Other uses of River Bushwillow

Grown for their small, showy flowers.


The roots are used as a purgative or cleanser, as well as for treating venereal diseases. The bark is sometimes mixed with other herbs to make a healing tea to treat sores.

Other uses