05 March 2020

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Sigurwana’s Tall Giants

Sigurwana is a haven for beautiful indigenous trees. One of these beautifully big trees are  known as a Kiaat (in Afrikaans) or a Wild Teak (in English) (Pterocarpus angolensis – derived from Greek “Pterocarpus” meaning winged fruit and “angolensis” meaning from Angola. )It is a protected tree in South Africa. The brown heartwood is resistant to borer and termite. It’s durable and has a pleasing spicy fragrance.


The wood polishes well and is well known in tropical Africa as Mukwa when used to make good quality furniture that has an attractive light brownish-yellow colour. It can also be used for curios, and implements.The colour of the sapwood is a result of the remarkable, dark red sap of the plant which is pointed out in the picture and an alternative name of Bloodwood rises from this.


This wood also produces a rich, resonant sound and can be made into many different musical instruments.


It is valued for several medicinal uses. It has been recorded to treat ringworm, eye problems, blackwater fever, stabbing pains, malaria, and to increase the supply of breast milk. The resemblance of the sap to blood has led to the belief in supposed magical healing powers concerning the blood.


It is a deciduous tree usually growing to 16 m tall, with dark brown bark and a high, wide-crowned canopy of shiny compound leaves. In favoured wetter locations the trees are typically about 18–19 m tall. The leaves appear at the time of the flowers or shortly afterwards.


The pod is 2–3 cm diameter, surrounded by a circular wing 8–12 cm diameter, reminiscent of a brown fried egg, and containing a single seed. This brown papery and spiky seed pod stays on long after the leaves have fallen. The Kiaat is fed upon by many animals that include the charaxes butterfly in larval state, squirrels, baboons and monkeys that feed on the seed pods.





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