082 775 1224 / kerryn@cjmgrowers.co.za

Trees, Shrubs, Aloes, Grasses and Ground Covers.

Please call us on our mobile number 082 775 1224 as the Telkom number is out of order.

Chionanthus foveolatus

Chionanthus foveolatus

  • Pock Ironwood

  • Bastard Ironwood

  • Pokysterhout (A)

  • iDlabetaga (Z)

  • Umdlebe (X)

  • Musiri (V)


  • A very hardy and attractive member of the Olive family, bearing similar, fleshy, purplish-black fruit. Extremely variable with regards to size and appearance, depending on habitat. A graceful tree, with a tall, slender, silvery-grey trunk and multi-branched crown. The name stems from the miniscule, white pock marks that dot the central veins of leaves. Inside these cavities are symbiotic microbes that assist the leaves with self-cleansing and disease protection.

SA Tree

  • 615


  • Oleaceae (Olive family)

  • Belonging to the order Lamiales, with somewhat 24 genera and 615 species.

  • These plants are native to temperate, forested regions, favouring in particular tropical Asia, but can be found worldwide, except for the Arctic, and can be trees, shrubs or woody climbers.

  • Members of this family are prized for either their economical or aesthetic importance.

  • The most eminent member of this family, and the namesake, is undoubtedly the Olive tree (Olea europaea), valued for its fruit and oil since ancient times.

  • Other members include the Ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior), and the Jasmines (Jasminum).


  • Occurring mostly in evergreen forest, and wooded ravines, from coast to mountains, in medium to high altitudes (sea level to 2000m above)


  • Light to dark-grey, finely scaled, with short, hairless branchlets that curve upwards.

  • Young trees often have irregular, corky patches.


  • Evergreen.

  • Opposite, simple, usually twice as long as wide. (5-6 x 1.5 – 3.5 cm)

  • Stiff, with a leathery texture, glossy green above, paler below, often with minute scales.

  • The margin is thickened and entire, the leaves are hairless, narrow and tapering to a blunt tip.

  • Raised midrib, with hairy pockets in axils of veins.

  • The young leaves have a round to heart shaped base.


  • Small, densely compressed sprays of white to cream coloured flowers, often tinged with pink.

  • Sweetly-scented, with hood-shaped petal tips, (5-7 mm).

  • Growing from leaf axils or on old wood.

  • September – May.


  • A fleshy, thick-skinned oval drupe, green, ripening to purple-black. (15 x 6 mm) – November- July.

  • One seed per fruit. Small, brown. (3-5 mm)


  • 5 – 30 m (Wild)

  • 5 – 10 m (Cultivation)


  • 3 – 6 m


  • The wood is pale brown, heavy and strong.

  • Makes fine furniture, carvings and household items


  • When transplanting, be careful not to damage the long taproot, as this will negatively impact future growth.

  • The trees are known to be plagued by spider mites and scale.


  • The flowers attract bees and insects, which will in turn lure certain insectivorous birds, while the fruit is eaten by bush pigs, bats and monkeys


  • Perfect when planted as a windbreak or hedge.

  • Low maintenance, neat.

  • Ideal for gardens with limited space, as the roots are non-aggressive, as well as challenging coastal and water-wise gardens.


  • Adapts easily, especially if grown from seed.

  • Tolerates high winds, extreme heat and low-water conditions.

Growth Rate

  • Average.


  • Grows equally well in full sun or shade.

Soil & Water

  • Can tolerate a wide range of conditions but will flourish with regular watering and compost enriched soil.

  • Generally undemanding tree.


  • Easily propagated from seeds, which germinate readily.

  • Soak seeds in hot water for 24 – 48 hours.

  • Plant 1 – 2 cm deep, in mixture of river sand and compost (2:3)

  • Keep in a well-lit, warm area, and water often, keeping soil moist but not wet.

  • Let the soil dry out between watering’s.

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