Cape Myrtle

Cape Myrtle

Myrsine africana

Scientific name

A shrub that can reach 1 to 2 meters in height. It has glossy leaves, pink flowers and blue to purple berries.

The berries attract birds that distribute the seeds widely. Best propagated from seed as cuttings do not take easily.

Also known as African boxwood (Eng.) | Mirting (Afr.) | Moroko-pheleu | Semapo | Sethakhisa | Thakisa (Southern Sotho) |

Propagation instructions

By seed

Propagation is best from seed. Plant the seedlings into pots to grow on until well established, before planting out into the garden. A regular, light pruning of the tips will encourage a bushy growth.

Before planting, beds should be well prepared with compost and should be mulched after planting.

In the winter rainfall areas of the Cape, plants should be planted in the winter to give the young plants the time to establish before the dry summer months.

Myrsine africana is slow growing, but long-lived and certainly worth the patience to give it a place in the garden.

By cutting

Cuttings are slow and difficult to root.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Seedbank Quantity
Arundel Seedbank 161
Tin Capsule Seedbank 20
Total 181
Nursery Quantity
Sarah's nursery 10
Total 10

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #15 Rosebank 50
Site #66 Mowbray 40
Site #64 Mowbray 40
Total 130

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

This is a bird-friendly species

It provides medicinal value

It can be used as a construction material

Can be used as a hedge

Attracts butterflies

Suitable for clay soil

Suitable for sandy soil

Myrsine africana is indigenous to: Peninsula Shale Renosterveld Peninsula Shale Renosterveld

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