Photo by MikeLumley (All rights reserved)
3 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
Pistol Bush Overview
Pistol Bush gets it's name form the seed capsule dehiscing explosively with a load crack. It is a small tree or shrub with a long flowering season and makes a decorative garden plant. In nature it occurs in forest, forest margins, along streams, in ravines and on rocky outcrops, often in colonies, and often as an understorey shrub in forest.
Common problems with Pistol Bush
Generally problem free
How to harvest Pistol Bush
To harvest the seeds (since the seeds are released explosively), collect them with regular visits while they are ripening. Bag the fruiting heads on the mother plant or remember to place the capsules in a container with a sturdy lid, to prevent the seeds from being scattered to all corners of the drying room.
How to propagate Pistol Bush
Sow fresh seed in spring or summer, keep moist and warm in a shaded position.
Take semi-hardwood heel cuttings, use side shoots in early summer, treat with rooting hormone, use well-aerated potting medium, root with bottom heat and overhead misting.
Special features of Pistol Bush
Attracts useful insects
Other uses of Pistol Bush
It has been used in the construction of traditional houses and is possibly also used to make household utensils.
Duvernoia adhatodoides is an excellent, fast-growing and decorative garden plant, with white flowers in late summer and attractive foliage all year. This species does best in a cool, moist site and is well-suited to coastal gardens, although it is best not exposed to strong, drying winds like Cape Town’s south-easter. It can be used as a background planting for the herbaceous border, in the shrubbery, as a screening plant or an informal hedge.