Rhus pendulina

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Rhus pendulina
Rhus pendulina.jpg
A branch with drupes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. pendulina
Binomial name
Rhus pendulina
Jacq. ex Willd.

Rhus pendulina, (syn. Searsia pendulina (L. f.)) White Karee (English) or Witkaree (Afrikaans) is a hardy, very fast growing, semi-deciduous tree. It occurs naturally along the Orange river and some of its tributaries. It is wind and drought resistant and has a pleasing, slightly drooping effect, somewhat similar to a Weeping Willow. It can reach a height of up to 10 metres but usually only reaches 6 to 8 metres height, with a spread of about 5 metres. The species is protected in the Northern Cape.

In summer it produces sprays of inconspicuous flowers that attract insects. Male and female flowers are on separate trees and the female trees bear bunches of small, round fruits in late summer which are eaten by birds. Edible fruit.

It has been widely introduced in South Africa as a pavement and garden tree, as it propagates easily, grows fast and flourishes in full sun. It is not invasive and makes an excellent shade tree. As with most trees they should not be planted very near to paving, swimming pools, pipes or walls, as their fast growth may quickly affect these. They however have a non-aggressive root system.

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