Tree number: 479.1

Common names: Mickey Mouse bush, carnival bush (Eng.); fynblaarrooihout (Afr.)

This gem of a tree was recently discovered in Steenbok right at the tip of the Reserve along Links Drive, near the wooden fencing.

Currently showing off a profusion of beautiful, sweetly scented yellow flowers, it will stop you in your tracks begging you to admire it.  Still relatively young at the moment, this tree will eventually grow to 1 to 2m but has been known to reach up to 6m.

The young spring foliage is also a beautiful colour, pinkish-bronze (picture right) and will turn glossy green when mature.  In Latin, serratus means saw-toothed in reference to its saw-toothed leaf margins.

The other striking feature of this small tree is its fruits which are attached to the sepals.  They are persistent, and whilst the fruit has been developing, the sepals have enlarged and turned bright red, in most cases turning the whole bush red.  These fruits are suspended below bright-red sepals in a way that resembles the face of Mickey Mouse, which is how O. serrulata gets its common name – Mickey Mouse bush – from.  So watch out for the fruits which should appear in the next couple of weeks.