Turraea obtusifolia

Common Name: South African honeysuckle 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Meliaceae
Native Range: South Africa
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in evenly moist, well-draining soils in full to part shade. For the best flowering and densest growth, site in a full-sun location. Hardy from Zones 10-11.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Turraea obtusifolia, commonly called South African honeysuckle, is a shrub or small tree native to woodland margins, rocky bushland, and sandy, coastal thickets in southern Africa from Botswana and Zimbabwe south to the eastern coast of South Africa. The glossy, evergreen foliage is found in clusters at the terminal ends of small branchlets off the main stems. The shape of the leaves can vary from elliptic to obovate, and will occasionally have lobed tips. White, five-petaled, flowers appear in terminal clusters during the summer. They are fragrant only at night. Bright orange fruits are released from the seedpods which are star-shaped when open and will remain on the plant. The fruits are attractive to birds. Mature plants can reach up to 15' tall with a 10' spread and tend to have a scrambling habit.

Genus name honors Giorgia della Turre (1607-1688), professor of botany at Padua.

The specific epithet obtusifolia means "blunt leaf", in reference to the shape of the foliage of this species.


No major pest and disease problems. All parts of this plant are poisonous.


Suitable for training as a bonsai. Takes well to container culture. Site in a location where the fragrant flowers can be enjoyed such as at the edge of a patio or seating area.