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Indigenous trees for Sale

Indigenous trees for Sale - Vaal Marina

Indigenous trees for Sale - Vaal Marina

only R 100/tree

In 20ltr bags

Buy 4 and get 1 FREE

Cussonia paniculata Eckl. & Zeyh.

Family: Araliaceae

Common names: mountain cabbage tree (Eng.), bergkiepersol (Afr.), umsenge (X, Sw) umsengembuzi (Z)

SA Tree No: 563

Trees provide shade, privacy, attractive foliage and beautiful flowers, and they also improve air quality, reduce noise and hide undesirable views. If you plant an indigenous tree, it will also work that much harder to attract birds and butterflies to your garden, while being far more drought-resistant than an exotic tree species.


A tree, or plant, is indigenous to a region or area if it grew and evolved there through natural processes. Benefits of planting indigenous varieties include the fact that it is often much hardier and more attractive to the local wildlife. 

Vaal Marina Cabbage Trees

This evergreen tree makes a beautiful focal point in a garden as it has an unusual shape, interesting gnarled bark and stunning, large, grey-green leaves. Plants show up especially well in a layout where rocks are used. Gardeners growing indigenous South African plants favour them greatly for their unique appearance.

Mature Cussonia paniculata


This is a short, thick-set tree, rarely exceeding 5 m in height. It is sparsely branched with grey, longitudinal fissured, thick and corky bark. The stem is thick and squat. This plant is considered a pachycaul succulent on the basis of its swollen stem base or tuber which forms early in plants grown from seed. Roots are also thick and swollen. The tree is slow growing.

Cussonia paniculata

The large, digitately compound, cabbage blue leaves are one of its most distinctive features. The leaf colour is in some part due to the thick waxy layers on the leaves, which may help protect them against severe frosts. The leaves are composed of 7-9, but sometimes up to 13 leaflets, springing from the end of a long stalk. The leaflets are up to 30 cm in length and the overall leaf can reach 60 cm. The leaflets of some forms are deeply lobed. New leaves are brighter green and emerge in a spring flush at the ends of branches.

There are two subspecies of Cussonia paniculata. The smaller mountain cabbage tree C. paniculata subsp. paniculata has leaflets without lobes and has a limited distribution in Eastern Cape. C. paniculata subsp. sinuata forms a larger tree with deeply lobed leaves and is more widespread. This is the form more commonly found in cultivation.

Unlobed leaves of C.paniculata subsp.paniculata

From January to April these trees bear small, green, stalked flowers; in short dense spikes, making up a large, branched inflorescence at the end of the trunk or branches. Flowers are followed by fleshy and purple-maroon fruits, which mature in May to June.

Distribution and habitat

Cussonia paniculata occurs inland at altitudes up to 2 100 m. It is often found in rocky places from the mountains of the Karoo and Eastern Cape through KwaZulu-Natal and Free State into Gauteng and further north. It grows in crevices filled with natural organic humus and compost. It is commonly found near Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is frost-tolerant and drought resistant.

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