Proudly South African Fruits – Red Milkwood Fruit – Volume 3 – (Article 3 of 8)Magalies Citrus
by Dr. Marli Botha
According to the Department: Agriculture, Forestries and Fisheries (DAFF), these are considered the most important South African indigenous fruit crops: Marula, mobola plum, red milkwood fruit, wild medlar, kei apple, monkey orange, sour fig and sour plum. Today’s Hero is the Red Milkwood Fruit.
Here are some facts for the Red Milkwood Fruit:
- Mimusops zeyheri is a medium-sized (up to 15m) evergreen tree belonging to the family Sapotaceae and widely distributed in rocky places from the east coast of southern Africa, inland and northwards to tropical Africa. It is commonly known as milkwood or Transvaal red milkwood.
- Transvaal red milkwood (Eng.); moepel (Afr.); mmupudu (Northern Sotho); umpushane (Zulu); nhlantswa (Tsonga); mubululu (Venda)
- The tree bares small, white, sweetly scented flowers usually during the months of October through February. These oval fruits have a pointed tip, a yellow or orange colour indicates that the fruit is ripe and this happens from April to September.
- Baboons, frugivorous birds as well as people favour the sweet fruits while antelope and elephants eats mainly the leaves. Monkeys and baboons climb eagerly in the tree in search of sweet, ripe fruit and knock many to the ground that will be eaten by bush pigs, and other.
- These tree relies upon animals to eat the fruit and carry it some distance for effective seed dispersal.