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Useful Tropical Plants

Ancylobothrys capensis

(Oliv.) Pichon

Apocynaceae


There has been considerable disagreement about the correct spelling for this generic name. It was originally written as Ancylobothrys by Pierre in the Bull. Soc. Linn. Paris ser. 2: 91. 1898. This was considered to be a mis-spelling by many botanists and Huber, in Fl. W. Trop. Afr. 2nd ed. 2. 1963, corrected it to Ancylobotrys. This name remained in common usage for around 50 years but several recent publications have reverted to the original spelling. We also are following the original spelling since it has now been accepted in the Kew 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families[].

+ Synonyms

Ancylobotrys capensis (Oliv.) Pichon

Landolphia capensis Oliv.

Pacouria capensis (Oliv.) S.Moore

Common Name: Wild Apricot

Ancylobothrys capensis
Fruiting branch
Photograph by: brianvds
Creative Commons License
Ancylobothrys capensis Ancylobothrys capensis Ancylobothrys capensis Ancylobothrys capensis Ancylobothrys capensis Ancylobothrys capensis

General Information

Wild apricot is a very slow-growing, much-branched twiggy, evergreen shrub that can creep along the ground or scramble upwards to a height of 3 metres or more by clinging to other vegetation by means of tendrils[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
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http://www.plantzafrica.com
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Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
,
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
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Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
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0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible fruit, which is considerd to be the best of the genus and is much esteemed.

Known Hazards

Some authors say the fruit are both edible and poisonous, probably referring to the milky latex in the skin that is typically poisonous in most members of the Apocynaceae[
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PlantZAfrica.com
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http://www.plantzafrica.com
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An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
,
971
Title
Revision of Ancylobotrys Pierre; Series of Revisions of Apocynaceae XXXV!!
Publication
Wageningen Agricultural University Papers 94-3
Author
Vonk G.J.A; Leeuwenberg A.J.M.; Haegens R.M.A.P.
Publisher
Wageningen Agricultural University; Netherlands
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
A revision of the genus with good information about plant habitat and uses

Range

Southern Africa - S. Africa to Botswana.

Habitat

Rocky hillsides[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
]. A characteristic species of dry bush in rocky situations, growing in grassland and bushveld, mainly on the scarp and summit of rocky outcrops or on plains with rocky ridges. Common on quartzite koppies in the north of its range[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height3.00 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsInsects, bees
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of subtropical to tropical areas. Young plants can be killed by frost, but older plants are more tolerant. If the tops are killed in frosty weather, then the plant will often resprout from the base[
295
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PlantZAfrica.com
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Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Prefers an acid soil[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Succeeds in poor, shallow soils[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
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Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
The plant does have horticultural potential in large open gardens with rocky areas. If pruned back, especially in late summer, it can develop into an attractive bush-especially when in flower or when fruiting[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. In natural rocky areas with little soil it drapes itself over rocks and the gardener who imitates this situation will have a better display[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Edible Uses

The fruit are edible, with a refreshing, tangy flavour and can be eaten either fresh or fried. Some say that it makes a good brandy, jelly or jam and even vinegar[
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PlantZAfrica.com
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http://www.plantzafrica.com
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Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. The fruit are rounded to pear-shaped, 35 - 50 mm in diameter. They are dark green to lime-green when young, turning yellow to orange as they mature. The skin is somewhat fleshy, velvety and tough, but peels away easily. Inside are numerous seeds, varying from round to almost bean-like and embedded in the sweet-sour pulp. The fruit resembles the apricot in colour but the taste is certainly different - the flesh is tasty and slightly sour, especially close to the seed[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - easily grown from fresh, clean seed collected when the fruit are ripening[
295
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PlantZAfrica.com
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Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
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0
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An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Make sure to clean the seeds and plant them directly into acidic leaf compost. They usually germinate quickly but can take as long as three months[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
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Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
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Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Young plants can be transplanted into well-drained soil in a semi-shaded situation. The branches like sun but the roots have to be kept cool-in nature they are sheltered form the heat of the sun below rocks. Unfortunately, these plants are extremely slow growers, so if you decide to plant this species you have to be very patient[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

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