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Grewia occidentalis

A much branched, evergreen shrub or semi climber that grows in protected positions among other species of trees.  An excellent example of this can be seen at the west end of the Creek. The small conspicuous star-shaped flowers grow in clusters of 1–3 among the leaves. The flowers are followed by distinctive four-lobed fruits (hence the common name cross-berry).

Many birds such as louries, mousebirds, bulbuls and barbets love to eat the ripe fruit, as well as humans!!! The leaves are also food to the larvae of the rufous-winged elfin butterfly (Eagris nottoana) and buff-tipped skipper (Netrobalane canopus).

Uses: the ripe fruit can be dried (in areas where its sugar content is high), it can be boiled in milk (therefore making a bush milkshake!!) or used to make beer. The wood from this shrub / tree is also perfect for bow making and spear shafts.

Family Name:
MALVACEAE
Common Name:
Cross berry (Eng.); kruisbessie (Afr.)
Plant Height:
3 m
Flower Colour:
Pink
Flowering Time:
August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March