Waterberry

Syzygium cordatum

Water Tree, Waterwood, Waterbessie (Afr.), Motlho, Muhlwa

profile iconSyzygium cordatum (9774260235)
by Ton Rulkens (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 7
A Syzygium cordatum plant with green leaves and fluffy white flowers
profile iconSyzygium cordatum (9774260235)
by Ton Rulkens (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 7
Syzygium cordatum is an evergreen, water-loving tree species in the Myrtaceae family. It is often found near streams, on forest margins or in swampy spots and grows best in moist to wet soil. It typically grows to between 8-15m in height, producing circular to elliptical-shaped leaves. Young foliage has a red tinge, developing to a blue-green colouring on the upper surface and a pale green shade on the underside. Showy flowers are white-pink in colour, scented and they are fluffy from many stamens, which produce an abundance of nectar, providing sustenance to pollinators and other wildlife. Flowers lead onto oval red-purple berry fruits. ZA Distribution: KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Western Cape.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

To grow this species take fresh fruits, clean off the fleshy outer covering and sow the greenish looking seeds in damp well drained soil or sand.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed in a seed trays with well-drained soil and cover seeds with a thin layer of soil. Water well and keep in a well-ventilated area. Treat seeds with fungicide before sowing.

Special features

Attracts birds

Birds feed on the berry fruits.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts bees

Wet sites

Will grow in damp sites near water.

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Africa, Mozambique, South Africa, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal

Natural climate

Sub-tropical

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Wet

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

In central Africa the tree is known as a remedy for stomach ache and diarrhoea. It is also used to treat respiratory ailments and tuberculosis.

Edible

The fleshy fruit is edible, slightly acid in flavour, and is eaten by children, monkeys, bush-babies and birds. The berries are also used to sometimes make an alcoholic drink.

Personality

Family

Myrtaceae

Flower colour

Pink, White

Scent

Mild

Problems

Generally problem free.

Companion plants

Under-plant with water loving plants.

Credits

profile iconSyzygium cordatum
by Berenice Carolus, Harold Porter NBG, September 2004 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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