Searsia pendulina

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White karee
Rhus pendulina.jpg
drooping branch with drupes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Searsia
Species: S. pendulina
Binomial name
Searsia pendulina
(Jacq.) Moffett
Synonyms[1]
  • Rhus pendulina Jacq.

Searsia pendulina, commonly known as the 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.

Medium semi-deciduous tree - strong and fast growth - usually with more than one trunk. It displays a soft green colour with very fine leaves. Not suited to plant close to your house,[2] nor to park underneath, due to a very fine powder which can stain your car. Excellent as a tree to lure birds and insects, as well as providing beautiful shade. Wind and weather resistant, can deal with too much water as well as droughts.

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