There has been considerable uncertainty amongst botanists as to the best way of treating the genus Searsia, with some viewing it as a genus distinct from Rhus, whilst others see insufficient differences and place it as a subgenus of Rhus. There seems to be a growing acceptance that Searsia is distinct and it is treated thus here.
Rhus bicolor Licht. ex Schult.
Rhus lobata Poir.
Rhus plukenetiana Eckl. & Zeyh.
Rhus tomentosa L.
Searsia tomentosa is a much-branched shrub or a tree that can grow up to 5 metres tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a source of tannins, fibre and fuel, and also occasionally as a food. An attractive shrub, it has potential as an ornamental[
Southern Africa - Zimbabwe, S. Africa.
Rocky mountain slopes and on edges of low bushland vegetation, at elevations up to 2,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
Fruits - raw. A very poor flavour[
]. The fruit is a globose drupe 4 - 6mm long and 3 - 4mm wide[
The wood, bark of the roots and branches, and the leaves are sources of tannins[
]. The leaves yield 8% tannin and the twigs 5.7%. The bark is rich in tannic acid[
A fibre obtained from the bark is used to make a rough rope[
The wood is hard and tough, but it is only used as fuel because the trees are small[
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