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A picture of a Natal Mahogany

Natal Mahogany

Trichilia emetica

Also known as

Rooiessenhout (Afr.), Mutuhu, Mamba

Photo by Going.Local (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

8a-11b

USDA zone

-12°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

Max

35m

25m

Min

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

More images of Natal Mahogany

A vase of flowers on a tree branch
Trichilia emtica fruits.Photo Geoff Nichols
Photo Geoff Nichols
Photo Geoff Nichols
Stem and bark

Natal Mahogany Overview

Trichilia emetica is an evergreen medium-to-large tree, with separate male and female plants. It has a dense, spreading crown. The pinkish to light brown wood is the most important source of timber for the rural carving industry in southern Africa. It is used for traditional carvings, musical instruments, furniture, boats and canoes. In Maputaland several traditional items are carved including bowls (iziMbenge ), dishes for meat (uGqoko), spoons (iziNkhezo ) and head rests (iziGqiki). This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: KwaZulu-Natal.

Common problems with Natal Mahogany

Generally problem free

    How to harvest Natal Mahogany

    Seeds are harvested when ripe, as the capsule splits open.

    How to propagate Natal Mahogany

    Seed

    Sow seeds when fresh into pots with well draining potting mix.

    Cuttings

    Soft or hard wood cuttings can be taken, using rooting hormone to stimulate root growth.

    Special features of Natal Mahogany

    Attracts birds

    Sunbirds that feed on the flower nectar and other birds feed on the seeds.

    Attracts useful insects

    Attracts bees

    Pot plant

    They add lovely green to office space and indoors!

    Hedge plant

    Attractive flowers

    Other uses of Natal Mahogany

    Medicinal

    The bark, roots, leaves and fruit can all be used to treat various ailments.

    Edible

    The seeds are soaked in water and the milky soup is eaten with spinach. Seed arils are soaked and cooked together with sweet potatoes or squash.

    Other uses

    Edible

    Medicinal