October 2009



Tuesday, October 6th: Tom’s Botanic Garden Walk

Tom Muller has now returned from Europe and has kindly agreed to lead us in the Botanic Garden on Tuesday, October 6th. This is a great opportunity to learn from Tom’s extensive knowledge of trees. Meet in the car park at the main public entrance off 5th Street Extension at 4.45 for 5 p.m.

Sunday, October 18thVisit to Ewanrigg.  This month’s outing is to Ewanrigg. We hope to explore a new wild area of the gardens.

Directions: Take the Enterprise Road out of Harare, turn left to Shamva at the 21 km junction and continue along this road till you see the Ewanrigg sign to the right. We will meet in the open area in the farthest part of Ewanrigg. To get there, bear left after entering the main gate and continue to the end.

There will be an entrance fee – amount unknown – so please bring some money. We will meet at 9.30 a.m. Allow about ¾ hour travelling time. Please also bring your lunch and a chair.


An Update & Elaboration

Rob Burrett has pointed out some corrections that need to be made to the information given in the August Tree Life (348) and provided additional information.

We reported that the Spirostachys africana samples from Great Zimbabwe were dated at more than 1500 years old. Coates-Palgrave (2nd revised edition) reports the ages of the carbon-dated samples as between 1240 and 1530 years, but Rob points out that the Spirostachys samples from Great Zimbabwe were initially WRONGLY dated. The system of radiocarbon dating was too new and these samples were wrongly analysed at the time. The sample wood was later redated to 1350-1450 AD—a much narrower and more reliable spread of years. This means, of course, that they were not 1500 years old.

Combretum imberbe (leadwood). Photo: Burt Wursten. Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Combretum imberbe (leadwood). Photo: Burt Wursten. Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

Rob also points out the interesting fact that during the rebuilding of the entrance to the Great Enclosure a few years back, other wood beam fragments were located, including Combretum imberbe (leadwood) and mopane, as well as the Tamboti.

All the reference sources however agree on the toxicity of Tamboti, as is confirmed by the frequent use of its latex as an arrow and fish poison.

Thanks, Rob.

A. amythethophylla pod. Photo: Photo Rob Burret. Source: Flora of ZimbabweJacarandas in Pretoria Source -