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KEI-APPLE (Dovyalis caffra)

This shrub or small tree is frequently planted as a hedge, even as far afield as Australia, California and the Mediterranean countries. It occurs naturally from the eastern Cape to the eastern Transvaal, where it grows in open bush, often in acacia woodland and near termite mounds.

There are strong straight spines on the branches, and the leaves are often borne in tight clusters at the base of these spines. The fruits are fleshy, apricot-coloured and up to 4 cm in diameter when mature. They are pleasantly flavoured and can be used to make excellent jelly and jam.

This indigenous plant is perfect for Southbroom and is both attractive and useful. The fruit will nourish the family and attract urban wildlife whilst the spines form an impenetrable hedge.

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