Searsia crenata (Thunb.) Moffet
Family: Anacardiaceae (mango family)
Common names: dune crow-berry; duinekraaibessie
SA Tree No: 380.1
This plant was previously known as Rhus crenata. Searsia is a mainly tropical to subtropical genus of about 250 species. 62 species occur in South Africa. This plant grows well in the Reserve’s sandy dune soil. It is a good sand binder and an ideal windbreaker.
The name crenata refers to the leaves that are toothed with crenatures or scallops. The leaves are alternately arranged and each leaf has three leaflets (trifoliolate). The leafstalk (petiole) is very short and the leaflets, 10 – 20mm long, are attached to the stalk. Leaflets are leathery, narrowly obovate to rounded and bluntly pointed at the apex. The hairless leaflets are dark green above and lighter in colour below and the top third of the leaflet margin is scalloped.
FLOWERS & FRUIT
The flowers are insignificant, white to almost cream, and appear in small clusters at the tip of branchlets during early autumn. The flowers attract bees and other insects to them. The plant produces an abundant fruit crop during the Autumn and Winter months.The fruits are small round red-brown to pale black berries which are enjoyed by many bird species in Steenbok Nature Reserve.
INTERESTING LINK ABOUT CATERPILLARS AND CUCKOOS IN STEENBOK