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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Stink-wood is no exaggeration!

My team and I have just been cutting back a very old, and dying Celtis africana. And for the last few hours, I've been wondering what that smell is thats been following me around... until I remembered the common name for a Celtis is the White Stinkwood.

This is a magnificent semi-deciduous tree, its fast growing, and gets quite big. In the right place it will reach about 20-25m. Its bark is a lovely smooth grey colour, and if it gets enough water through winter, it will keep most of its lush-green foliage.

While it is small, it is often mistaken for a Pigeonwood because of the similarity of its leaves. But there is no mistaking it when it starts to mature.

Celtis africana is a haven for all kinds of birds, lizards and insects. And I found seeds of the amazing Tapinanthus (a type of mistletoe, that I've written about in a previous post) on one of the upper branches, which shows that this particular part of the coastal forest eco-system is working quite nicely.

Excuse the slightly blurred picture, I was balancing rather precariously on the end of a branch to get the photo!

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