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A picture of a Forest Elder

Forest Elder

Nuxia floribunda

Also known as

Forest Nuxia, Wild Elder, Bosvlier, Vlier (Afr.), Umhlambandlazi, Ithambo, Ingobese, Isanywana, Umkhobeza (Zulu), Ingqota, Isikhali (Xhosa), Motlhabare (Northern Sotho), Mula-Notshi, Mpupumwa (Venda)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Forest Elder

Stem and branches
Leaf scars and leaves in whorls of 3.
Developing seed
Tree flowering lightly - can be more profuse.
A photo of Forest Elder

Forest Elder Overview

This small to medium sized specimen tree, boasts sweet smelling creamy-white flowers in large clusters from Autumn to Spring. The interesting flaking bark is grey and brown and the tree terminates in a dense shapely crown. The non invasive root system means it can be planted near walls or paving. This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape.

Common problems with Forest Elder

Leaf mould and Fusarium spp

    How to harvest Forest Elder

    Collect the ripe fruit, keep in paper bag in order to catch the seed when it is expelled from the pod.

    How to propagate Forest Elder


    Hardwood and semi-hardwood cuttings, around 10cm in length should be dipped into hormone rooting powder and then inserted into potting medium.


    Seeds should be scattered over the medium and covered in a very thin layer of light river sand. Keep moist in a warm place.

    Special features of Forest Elder

    Attracts useful insects

    Bees and other insects pollinate the flowers. The tree is a host to at least three species of butterflies.

    Attracts birds

    Attracts insect eating birds.

    Wet sites

    As a forest tree, it prefers plenty of water.

    Attracts bees

    Other uses of Forest Elder


    In traditional African medicine it is used to treat coughs, colds, influenza and indigestion.

    Other uses