To carry on celebrating Arbor month, we will today look at the PINK KEURBOOM – tree number 221.
This small to medium sized tree is bushy, rounded to conical in shape and can be found in our tree copse along the paved path.
It is easily recognized by its dense terminal sprays of pinkish-mauve to violet pink pea-like flowers (first picture left) which can appear sporadically throughout the year. The branches grow close to the ground which makes it easy for us to appreciate its sweet scent.
The bark is silevry-grey and smooth at the moment (second picture left) due to the fact that the photo is of a young tree but it will turn grey and rough as the tree gets older.
The leaves are pinnately compound and composed of 5 to 9 pairs of leaflets (first picture right), plus a terminal one.
The flowers give way to flat, brown and velvety pods (second picture right) which turn black when mature before splitting open to release 2 to 6 seeds.
The generic name Virgilia relates to the Roman poet Virgil whilst divaricata, meaning divergent, is describing its widely spreading branches.
This stunning tree, having flowers rich in nectar, attracts many insects and birds such as sunbirds, carpenter bees, honey bees and ants. The blue butterfly (Lucerne Blue, Lampides boeticus) is also known to breed on the keurboom.