The Red Bush Willow

The Red Bushwillow is mostly found on the upper slopes of sandy and rocky soil. You can easily spot the unmistakable orange/red colour of the seedpods of these amazing trees. There is an interesting story about the Red Bushwillow, co-starring the brown-headed parrot with its distinctive “hiccup” call. Long ago when people realized that brown-headed parrots favoured the seeds of the Red Bushwillow and heard the call of the bird, they believed that, if they were to eat the seeds, they too would suffer the same fate as the bird. And no-one really likes hiccups! The seeds are in fact poisonous to game and humans, yet the leaves of the tree are browsed by numerous species such as eland, kudu, bushbuck, giraffe and elephant. The dried fruits and leaves can be boiled and made into a tea. The Red Bushwillow’s wood is known as “hardehout” as the wood is very dense. The dense wood is perfect for a campfire or braai (barbecue) as it burns through the night and makes very good coals. The wood is also known to be termite and borer resistant.