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Terminalia phanerophlebia - Lebombo Cluster Leaf

Terminalia phanerophlebia - Lebombo Cluster Leaf


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Packet of 5 seeds of this very fast growing ornamental tree.

A shrub or small tree, this member of the cluster leaf family grows to 6 metres or so tall with a similar spread. Typical for this genus, the leaves are borne in terminal clusters, hence the common and Latin names. The specific name refers to its habitat as it is found in the Lebombo mountain area of South Africa and just over the border in Mozambique.

The plant itself is not a mountain species, however, being found at low altitudes in the foothills in rocky outcrops or alongside rocky watercourses. For this reason it is not as hardy as its name may suggest. It is a very attractive tree, with silvery hairs on the young leaves and shoots, which fade with age and has creamy white flowers often tinges with pink followed by two-winged fruit that change colour from green to a dull pink or reddish brown as they ripen, adding to the charm.

Not particularly hardy (perhaps Zone 9), it may survive outside in a sheltered location in warmer temperate climates, otherwise grow as pot/container plant - it can also be used for bonsai culture. 

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