Natal Mahogany, Rooi essenhout (Trichilia emetica)
The Natal Mahogany or Rooi Essenhout is an evergreen, medium to large tree, up to 25m high with separate male and female plants. It has a dense, spreading crown. The leaflets are dark glossy green above with tips more or less rounded or broadly pointed. Its sweet-scented flowers will attract bees and birds to your garden. The flowers grow in short dense branched heads cream-green and measures up to 15mm long, flowering from August to November.
The tree is widely distributed in the Eastern part of South Africa, from KwaZulu-Natal through to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and northwards throughout the rest of Africa. It occurs naturally in riverine forest and bushveld.
Oil can be extracted from the seeds and is used to moisture the skin and also to manufacture soap. It is further used medicinally to treat rheumatism and as a wound dress or dress cuts for fractured bones.