The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Real Yellowwood tree / South African Yellowwood tree

Afrikaans name: Opregte geelhout

Leaves of a Real Yellowwood tree

Leaves of the Real Yellowwood tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Podocarpus latifolius

The Real Yellowwood tree is the National Tree of South Africa.

They are also known as the Broad-leaved Yellowwood. Although it can grow to a respectable height of 30 metres, and occasionally 40 metres, it is still much smaller than the Outeniqua Yellowwood. It is said that Yellowwood Trees have been around for 100 million years!

The bark of the Real Yellowwood is greyish and peels off in long strips. The leaves are long and thin. Often they can't be seen easily as the trunk is tall and the leaves are borne high up.

The female trees get red and purple cones which are eaten by various fruit eating birds.

The wood of the Real Yellowwood is known to produce fine quality furniture and it is also used for floors and ceilings. These trees are slow-growing and the use of them for timber is now controlled.

Bark of a Real Yellowwood tree

Bark of the Real Yellowwood tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 70

Adventure Trails in Kirstenbosch - Author: Daphne Mackie - Published: 2012 - Page: 54

Ecoguide - Fynbos - Author: Colin Paterson-Jones and John Manning - Published: 2007 - Page: 164

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 16

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 390

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 201

SA Wild Flower Guide No 12 - Table Mountain National Park - Author: T Trinder-Smith, M Maytham Kidd & F Anderson - Published: 2006 - Page: 38

SA Wild Flower Guide No 3 - Cape Peninsula - Author: Mary Maytham Kidd - Published: 1982 - Page: 42

SA Wild Flower Guide No 4 - Transvaal Lowveld - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1984 - Page: 28

Sappi Tree Spotting: Highveld and the Drakensburg - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 1998 - Page: 154

Sappi Tree Spotting: Highveld and the Drakensburg - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 1998 - Page: 158

Sappi Tree Spotting: KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape - 2nd edition - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 2004 - Page: 292

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 48

The Flora of the Natal Drakensberg - Author: Donald Killick - Published: 1990 - Page: 60

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 89

Tsitsikama Trees - Author: Prof. HB Rycroft - Published: 1980 - Page: 14

What Tree is That? - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1967 - Page: 23

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 98


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