Ant tree

Ant tree

Triplaris americana (Polygonaceae)

Common Name:

Ant tree

Scientific Name:

Triplaris americana (Polygonaceae)


Alternative common names:

Triplaris, Indian almond (English); triplaris (Afrikaans)

Description:

This tree grows 8-10m high with a straight, smooth, grey trunk with pyramidal crown. Leaves are bright green and smooth, or brownish-velvety beneath along the midrib and veins. Small male and female flowers on separate trees from April to May in large clusters, along densely greyish-yellow, light brown hairy axes. Female flowers red. Shiny brown fruits. Poisonous leaves.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Central and South America.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA 2020 - Category 1a

Where does this species come from?

Central and South America.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

KwaZulu-Natal.

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

Competes with and has the potential to replace indigenous species. The leaves are also poisonous.

What does it look like?

General description: This tree grows up to 8-10m and has a straight trunk with smooth, grey bark.
Leaves: Leaves are bright green and smooth, or brownish-velvety beneath along the midrib and veins.
Flowers: Small male and female flowers on separate trees from April to May in large clusters, along densely greyish-yellow, light brown hairy axes. Female flowers are red.
Fruit/seeds: Shiny brown, sharply three-angled seeds, held inside the fruiting perianth, 30-50mm long, with brown hairy base and three pinkish-red wings.

Does the plant have any uses?

Planted as an ornament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *