Euclea racemosa

by tanetahi
(Brisbane Queensland Australia)

I would like to grow E. racemosa here in Australia, but it seems no one grows it in this country, and it has not received approval for import from the federal department of agriculture. I'm envious of you being able to gather fresh berries locally and plant the seeds from them. What time of year do the berries ripen?

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Feb 19, 2021
Euclea racemosa story
by: Caroline

They are flowering now on the Tygerberg. Other people have told me they normally flower much earlier.

Jan 26, 2021
Thanks...Some things to consider about our botanical paradise
by: Caroline

Dear Anonymous

I'm sure for someone interested in plants a visit to the Cape is exciting. It seems you are passionate indeed judging from the trouble you are prepared to go to take home plant material !

Though this may be a botanical paradise, it is socially anything but paradisaical. This may influence the actions of plants people who care about fair trade, and it also has legal ramifications.

It seems from your online presence that you are a collector. You have a really beautiful Bromeliad collection in Brisbane !

However as your private garden can serve as a source of propagules for other actors they need to remember that we've signed international bioprospecting legislation as a member state of the Convention on Biological Diversity in the Nagoya Protocol on Patents and Traditional knowledge, and there is South African legislation to deal with, such as Biodiversity Act, 2004, and Patents Amendment Act, 2005.

Because we have such great floristic diversity and a lot of medicinal herbs, as does Australia, as a country we are plagued by the problem of other people exploiting our plants and South Africans finding we are not able to profit from it at all, and the money is not going to the descendants of the people who found out how to use the plants, as probably is also occurring in Australia.

There are so many forms a fair trade deal could take and the advantage to one's reputation in this country and in all the areas one sells one's goods is enormous, as many a wine farm is discovering. The descendants of the people whose plant knowledge has informed this region are often rural, exploited and destitute. They are most in need of consideration and it pays, and they often have considerable skill.

Thinking of people of Khoekhoe descent, I know a young local nursery woman who is growing indigenous plants commercially, urban community gardeners who grow native herbs for distribution to herbalists, and rural school teachers and activists in the places affected by ongoing oppression who could utilize a fresh breath of botanical entrepreneurial energy. The potential to do something wonderful is enormous. However, the project would have to be administered by government, and that could be good or bad.

Thank you for hearing me out. Whether intentionally or not. I appreciate it.


Jan 25, 2021
Euclea racemosa
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your reply, Caroline. I'm going to make an application to have E. racemosa added to the list of plant seeds approved for entry into Australia, as E. natalensis and E. crispa are already listed.

When we have all been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, and international travel has resumed, I would like to come over to Cape Town to photograph the fynbos and anything else I see of interest in the area, so it would be good to time such a visit with the time of year when E. racemosa berries are ripe.

Jan 24, 2021
by: Caroline

Dear Tantehi

Thank you for your question and your interest in our plants ! I've been waiting eagerly for berries to appear but nothing has happened this year. The arboretum has been closed for months due to Covid, perhaps the season is over.

I will let you know if there is a change in the situation.


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