Searsia incisa var. effusa

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Botanical Name
Searsia incisa var. effusa
Anacardiaceae - The mango family.
SEER-zee-a in-SIGH-suh var. eff-YOO-suh
Common Name(s)
English: Rub-rub currant
Afrikaans: Baardbessie
IsiXhosa: unongqutu
Plant Group
  • Shrub A woody plant of relatively low height, having several stems arising from the base and lacking a single trunk; a bush.
Plant Size
  • Large
    Tree18m to 25m
    Shrub3m to 4m
    Perennial/ground cover75cm to 1m
    Bulb80cm to 1.2m
    Succulent1m to 1.5m
  • Partial Shade The area is in shade for part of the day and in full sun for part of the day.
  • Sun The area is in full sun for all or most of the day, all year round.
General Information
  • Attractive fruits, berries or seeds Brightly coloured fruits or berries increase and extend the visual impact of the plant and are especially attractive to birds and other small wildlife.
  • Deciduous Plants which completely lose their foliage for part of the year.
  • Drought Tolerance: High The plant is well adapted to arid conditions; it can survive long periods of drought and high temperatures without extra water.
  • Frost: Half-hardy The plant is able to survive low temperatures and some frost but requires protection against severe frost.
  • Sand tolerant Plants adapted to survive in nutrient poor, very sandy soils.
  • Water Wise Plant species originating from low rainfall regions that require less water to survive and thrive than other plant species.
  • Wind Tolerant Plants able to withstand the effect of strong winds.
Specific Information

Searsia incisa is more often a shrub than a tree. The leaves are dark green above with the under-surface covered with creamy, soft hairs. The fruits, although edible, are small and have to be rubbed between the hands for some time to get the hairs off. This shrub abounds in the bush in our area of the Eastern Cape. The flowers, and especially the fruits are most attractive, but it does get woody and does not respond well to pruning. The leaves turn yellow and fall off in late summer leaving a large 'twig-ball' until the new leaves emerge. An ideal species for boundary planting, a wild garden or an exclusion zone - the dense twigs make good nesting and roosting places for wild birds and the fruit is an added attraction.

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sprays of small, star-shaped flowers in dense heads on the ends of branches

  • Winter to Summer Plants will seldom bloom for the entire season as given in the list, but should flower during a period within these parameters.
  • cream
Growth Rate
  • Moderate to Fast Specifying growth rate can be very misleading as there is considerable variation of growth rate depending on type and species of plant, available water, supplementary feeding, mulching and general care, as well as the plants suitability and adaptability to the garden environment.
Plant Uses
  • Attracts bees, butterflies or other insects This plant attracts insects which can be food for birds or other creatures in your garden.
  • Attracts Birds This plant will attract birds.
  • Boundary A plant useful for planting around the edges of the property to form a green or colourful backdrop, an impenetrable hedge, to hide walls or create privacy.
  • Wild Garden An indigenous garden planted for the benefit of wildlife and birds. Provides food, water, a variety of mini-biomes and no poisonous¬†chemicals are used.
Distribution and Habitat

between Worcester in the Western Cape and East London in the Eastern Cape, along the coastal belt; and from Garies north to the Richtersveld in the Northern Cape, scattered in open scrub and along the banks of streams and rivers

Planting Suggestions

Plant in a large hole mixed with compost, fertiliser and some bonemeal. Mulch well, water regularly until established and then if you wish, reduce the amount of water until the shrub is fully reliant on local weather conditions.

Medicinal Uses

No data found.

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