Western Cape Trees for Bees

Our pledge funds from the Trees for Bees program are used to support reforestation by Greenpop in their Forests for Life projects.  This species listing are trees being planted in the Western Cape projects.  For the key to the #BeePlantValue refer to the table at the bottom of the listing.


Diospyros whyteana. Also known as the Bos-tolbos has sweetly scented white drooping flowers. #BeePlantValues N0-3 P0-2


Chrysanthemoides monilifera. A medium sized daisy bush with white-felted young branches.  #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-2

Camphor Bush

Tarchonanthus camphoratus. A small tree with leaves with a camphor smell.  Both male and female plants supply nectar which supplies wild bee colonies with winter stores. It is a main pollen source in autumn in the veld where it occurs. #BeePlantValue N0-3 P0-3

Cape Ash

Ekebergia capensis. Medium to large tree of coastal and montane forests with light green faintly scented flowers, with sexes different on trees.  Full flowering every year in the southern cape. #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-2

Cape Beech

Rapanea melanophloeos. Medium to tall tree with cream-coloured flowers, in clusters on older branches. In the southern cape forests it flowers and fruits heavily every second year.  #BeePlantValue N2? P2? Rating based on two records.

Cape Chestnut

Calodendrum capense. Forests and wooded ravines.  Small to tall evergreen garden tree. #BeePlantValue N1-2 P1-3

Cape Holly

Ilex mitis. Regular flowering in southern cape small white flowers in clusters. #BeePlantValue N1-3 P2?

Cape Rattle Pod

Crotalaria capensis. A pioneer plant with bright yellow pea flowers.  #BeePlantValue N2 P1?


Pittosporum viridiflorum. Small to medium size tree with sweetly scented tubular, light yellow small flowers.  The tubes are wide enough for bees to reach the nectar. Interesting in that it has variable flowering times from year to year in the southern Cape forests. #BeePlantValue N3 P2

Cape Saffron

Cassine peragua. Also known as the Baster saffraan, this shrub or tree of forests and coastal scrub according to reports contributes to honeys of mixed origin in the Cape Peninsula.  #BeePlantValue N2 P2.

Common Spikethorn

Gymnosporia buxifolia. A pioneer plant.  Shrub or small tree of varied habitats with masses of cream flowers with an unpleasant scent – people inspect their shoes when passing by!!! Not often visited by bees.  N0-1? P0-1

Cat Thorn

Scutia myrtina. Also known as Drogie, this is a a scrambling shrub with characteristic pairs of climber thorns with small yellowish-green flowers in mini clusters. #BeePlantValue N1-3 P0-1 


Rhamnus prinoides. Small tree with yellowish-green flowers on slender stalks.  #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-1 

Forest Elder

Nuxia floribunda. Small evergreen trees of the forest with small white fragrant flowers. Very attractive to bees from early morning. Forgers become dusted with pollen.  Good flowering sometimes occurs outside the normal April – September period. #BeePlantValue N1-3 P0-2?


Zanthoxylum davyi. Also called Perdepram. A large diocecious tree with leaves that are citrus-scented when crushed.  With inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers in small terminal sprays, bees gather nectar from female flowers, whilst pollen and probably nectar as well, is harvested from male flowers. #BeePlantValue N2 P1

Glossy Crowberry

Searsia lucida. A pioneer plant. Also called Glossy currant, Glossy wild currant in English or Blinktaaibos, Slaptaaibos in Afrikaans. A small tree with creamy white flowers.  #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-2 

Hard Pear

Olinia ventosa. Large trees in southern forests with small short flower tubes, cream coloured to pink and sweetly scented. Active nectar and pollen foraging reported.  #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-3?


Virgilia oroboides. A pioneer plant. Medium semi-deciduous tree with rosy purple flowers.  Honey bees forage nectar from the base of the flower by inserting their proboscis between the standard petal and two wing petals, while this is an excellent carpenter bee plant. #BeePlantValue N0-1 P0-1


Mystroxylon aethiopicum.  Also known as Spoonwood. A small tree with #BeePlantValue N2? P1?


Clausena anisata. Also known as Horsewood.  A small tree with water-white nectar with a strong unpleasant smell.  With sprays of small, cream-coloured flowers it is a reasonable nectar and pollen source. #BeePlantValue N1-2 P1-2


Pock Ironwood

Chionanthus foveolatus. Evergreen tree of very variable size with small white flowers with elongated petals that are sweetly scented. #BeePlantValue N? P2?

Poison Star Apple

Diospyros dichrophylla. Also known as Monkey apple or Jakkalstolbos it has cream-coloured scented flowers hanging on a long stalk.  #BeePlantValue N3? P Based on one record of bees visiting for nectar and pollen.

Red Alder

Cunonia capensis. Also known as Rooiels or the Butterspoon tree.  Whitish, scented flowers in dense spikes. #BeePlantValue N2-3 P1?

Red Pear

Scolopia mundii. Small to medium sized tree with cream-coloured sweet-scented flowers. #BeePlantValue N1? P2? similar to the thorn pear, both which were evaluated on single records.


Canthium mundianum. Small tree with small greenish white faintly scented flowers in clusters. At least one strong Spring shower is necessary for flowers to develop. #BeePlantValue N0-3 P0-1

Sea Guarri

Euclea racemosa. Dioecious small tree with cream coloured fragrant flowers. #BeePlantValue N0-3 P1?

Small Knobwood

Zanthoxylum capense. As with the Knobwood listed (Zanthoxylum davyi) it has greenish-yelow flowers in small terminal sprays.  Bees gather nectar from female flowers whilst pollen and probably nectar as well, is harvested from male flowers. #BeePlantValue N2 P1

Tree Fuchsia

Halleria lucida. A pioneer plant, this is a supportive bee plant as it is long flowering with long thin red curved flower tubes.  Nectar is collected from flower front, but also robbed from the base. #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-2

Common Turkey-berry

Canthium inerme. A small tree of coastal and montane forests with small greenish flowers full flowering every year or sometimes in alternate years.  #BeePlantValue N0-2? P0-2?

White Pear

Apodytes dimidiata.  Good pollen source. Small, white, scented flowers are visited for one hour only, before and after sunrise. #BeePlantValue P1-3

Wild Pomegranate

Burchellia bubalina. Nectar and Pollen. Small tree of forest and woodland.  Good garden subject.  Rarely misses a flowering. Ring of hairs in flower tube prevents nectar from running out. #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-2

Wild Mulberry

Trimeria grandifolia. Pollen source. #BeePlantValues N? P2? This evaluation based on a single report.

White Stinkwood

Celtis africana. Also known as Kamdeboo or Wit stinkhout. Pollen source, mostly beneficial when found in more arid interior regions. #BeePlantValue P0-2

Wild Olive

Olea europaea africana. Small to medium size evergreen, which is a subspecies of the cultivated olive. Small cream coloured flowers are sometimes sweetly scented. Seldom attracts bees, and then on certain days only.  The suspected nectar production needs investigation. #BeePlantValue N? P0-2

Wild Peach

Kiggelaria africana. A dioecious tree of the Cape forests. Nectar is gathered throughout the day; on male trees major pollen activity was noticed in the mornings, followed by high nectar collection only in the afternoon.  Flowers of young trees are more attractive. #BeePlantValue N1-2 P0-4

White Milkwood

Sideroxylon inerme. Interesting that bees often ignore the unpleasantly scented small flowers, however there have been two reports of considerable activity from the Southwestern Cape. #BeePlantValue N0-2 P0-1

White Ironwood

Vepris lanceolata. Also called Wit ysterhout, has small inconspicuous flowers, with nectar collected from female flowers, and pollen (and nectar?) from male flowers that have eight stamens. #BeePlantValue N2? P1? based on two published records.



Information is gathered from Beeplants of South Africa, Sources of nectar, pollen, honeydew and propolis for honeybees : M.F. Johannsmeier