1 December 2022 to 31 December 2022

Greyia sutherlandii

Common name(s): glossy bottlebrush, mountain bottlebrush, Natal bottlebrush, wild bottlebrush, beacon tree (Eng.); blinkblaarbaakhout, Natalse baakhout (Afr.); isidwadwa, indalu, indulo, umbande (Zulu); umbere-bere, usinga-lwamaxhegokazi, indalu (Xhosa), inhlazane, umwatsawatsa (Swazi)

                                                               Greyia sutherlandii flower and leaves

Description: Greyia sutherlandii is a large shrub or small tree, 3 to 7 m high with pale pink and generally light and soft wood.

Leaves are simple, alternate, rather leathery, slightly lobed and coarsely toothed, with long and straight leaf stalk. The leaf surface is hairless and minutely glandular. The leaf veins radiate from the base.

Flowers are red, with oblong petals and long protruding stamens. The showy flowers open in closely packed racemes at the tips of the branches

Flowering time: late winter to spring into early summer.

The fruit is a pale brown, cone-shaped, cylindrical capsule, of 20 mm long. It splits in 4 or 5 parts when ripe to release seeds from October to December.

Origin: South Africa and Swaziland

Uses: The light, soft, pale pink wood of the Natal bottlebrush is known to be used to make household utensils and handicrafts. Some farmers use it for fencing, or plant it as a living fence around kraals (stock enclosures). Root infusions are used in traditional medicine to induce nausea and vomiting.

Propagation is by seeds, cuttings, or suckers.


  1. Pooley, E. 1993. Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
  2. van Wyk, B. and van Wyk, P. 2009. Field guide to trees of Southern Africa. Struik Nature Publishers
  3. http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantefg/greyiasuther.htm Accessed December 2022