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A picture of a Wild Almond

Wild Almond

Brabejum stellatifolium

Also known as

Wilde Amandel, Bitteramandel, Ghoeboontjie, Ghoekoffie (Afr.)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Frequent watering
Tender

9a-11b

USDA zone

-7°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

5m

Max

15m

4m

Min

5m

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Wild Almond

A photo of Wild Almond
A photo of Wild Almond
A photo of Wild Almond
A photo of Wild Almond
A photo 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).

    A photo of Tree Fuchsia

    Tree Fuchsia

    Halleria lucida

    A photo of Bladdernut

    Bladdernut

    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

    Seed

    Sow seed in Autumn. Space seeds 12m apart. Plant a post-germinated seed 1-2cm deep. Germination time is 3-4 weeks.

    Layering

    It can be done, though with difficulty, with layers made in April.

    Special features of Wild Almond

    Attracts birds

    Attracts various insectivorous & nectar-seeking birds.

    Attracts useful insects

    Insects such as honeybees.

    Hedge plant

    It has a tendency to spread sideways and is suitable for hedging and screening.

    Attractive flowers

    Wind break

    Attracts bees

    Wet sites

    Other uses of Wild Almond

    Medicinal

    People traditionally make medicine from the center (kernel) of the bitter almond. It is used for spasms, pain, cough, and itchy​.

    Edible

    The nut is too bitter to eat; however, in earlier times it was boiled, roasted, and ground to make a "coffee" drink.

    Other uses

    Veldkos

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