Although, when looking at the bushveld, is seems rather monotone (oranges and browns and greys in winter and greens and browns in summer), there are a myriad of colours hiding away for those who look closely. In springtime especially there is quite a bit of red.
A favorite tree of mine is one with the most beautiful red flowers. They stand out because they seem to shine brightly in the sunshine. This is due to the copious amounts of nectar they exude – coating them in a sheen of sticky honey – so much so that the nectar drips onto the ground under the tree. That is why it is called the weeping boer bean.
Scotia brachypetala has quite a few other names too which help describe it.
- Parrot Tree – the nectar attracts a lot of birds
- Drunken Parrot Tree – excess nectar ferments and can have a mild narcotic effect on some birds
- Weeping Boerbean – the name we use here – weeping due to the nectar dripping and bean because it is a leguminous tree
- Huilboerboon – is the Afrikaans name (huil = cry)
- Tree Fuchsia – totally different family to the fuchsia but has similar flowers (ballerina flowers)
- African Walnut – the roasted seeds are edible.