The Stamvrug fruit grow directly from the branches and trunk of these 2-4m high trees. The Afrikaans name stamvrug is directly translated as stem-fruit. Not only do we enjoy them, but the baboons do too! So we have a troop at least once a week in close proximity to the house as in our garden and around the perimeter there are many of these plants growing.
Our family favourite is Stamvrug sorbet.
There are some brave ladies in our area that make stamvrug jelly, but this is a tiresome process of skinning the fruit and de-pitting them – something you most definitely want to do because the seeds contain poison or at least that’s what the locals say – high concentrations of stricknine! But perhaps it is more like the cyanide contained in apples, either way, we do not chew or swallow the pips, just in case!
Those in the know, say only 1 in 5 buds develop into fruit! I wonder who took the time to work that out! Anyway, I looked it up and the correct English name for it is Transvaal Milkplum, Englerophytum magalismontanum.
The main stem is short, crooked, with a compact rounded crown. Its bark is grey and slightly scaly. The branches if not laden with fruit are marked with scars of fallen fruit. The young twigs have rusty hairs.
The leaves are alternate or spirally arranged, crowded towards ends of branchlets, leathery, shiny dark green above and covered with silvery hairs or even brown hairs beneath.
The flowers smell wonderful and are strongly scented especially early in the morning and bloom from June to October, depending on the climate.