2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Wild Almond
Wild Almond Overview
A large spreading multi-stemmed tree or large shrub with thick smooth bark & long dark green spear shaped leaves that occur in whorls radiating like a star from the branch. The flowers are a mass of white sweetly scented flowers on a flower stalk. It is known as a 'wild almond' even though it is actually part of the protea family due to its velvety brown (hairy) almond-shaped seeds. Naturally occurring in the Western Cape (RSA) along stream beds it is known to have historical significance as the first physical boundary set in the Cape. Traditionally used as a type of coffee, but are toxic if eaten raw. It is used as a spreading hedge/tree with decorative nuts and scented flowers, was used historically for food and a 'coffee'-like a drink, as well as for traditional medicine. This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: Western Cape.
Common problems with Wild Almond
Fungi & leaf spot are problematic.
Wild Almond Companion Plants
Halleria lucida, Wild olive, Cape safron, Bladder-nut (Diospyros whyteana).
How to harvest Wild Almond
Harvest the seeds in late summer to autumn (Feb to May). Muti harvesting of the fruit & wood harvesting for the making of ornaments is done by hand.
How to propagate Wild Almond
Sow seed in Autumn. Space seeds 12m apart. Plant a post-germinated seed 1-2cm deep. Germination time is 3-4 weeks.
It can be done, though with difficulty, with layers made in April.
Special features of Wild Almond
Attracts various insectivorous & nectar-seeking birds.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as honeybees.
It has a tendency to spread sideways and is suitable for hedging and screening.
Other uses of Wild Almond
People traditionally make medicine from the center (kernel) of the bitter almond. It is used for spasms, pain, cough, and itchy.
The nut is too bitter to eat; however, in earlier times it was boiled, roasted, and ground to make a "coffee" drink.