• Natal Wild Banana (E)
  • Natalse wildepiesang(A)
  • ikhamanga; isigude; isigceba (X)
  • isigude; igceba, inkamanga (Z)




  • 34


  • Strelitziaceae


  • This is a slow growing large tree that can reach a height of 12M and a width of 4M. It is drought resistant but is not able to withstand severe frost. It is able to withstand salty coastal winds. The Strelitzia is evergreen, with multiple stems forming dense clumps of foliage. Please note that the root system is aggressive.


  • The thick and very large leaves, which can be 2M long, are a grey-green colour and are attached to the stems by long and thick leaf stalks. The blades of the leaves become split by wind.




  • The flowers have white sepals and blue petals, with five purple-blue boat shaped sheaths. The flower as a whole looks like the head of a bird with a white crest and a purple beak. The flowers can occur throughout the year, but predominantly in Spring to Summer. The flowers can be 50cm longs.


  • The fruit is a woody capsule.



  • The seeds of the Strelitzia nicolai are black with bright orange woolly arils. They are seen mostly in autumn and winter.


  • The leaf stalks are dried and used to make rope for building huts.
  • The immature seeds are edible and quite tasty.


  • Sunbirds enjoy the nectar from the flowers.
  • Monkeys enjoy eating the soft part of the flowers and the orange arils on the seeds.
  • Blue duiker feed on the flowers.
  • Frogs use the clumps for protection.


  • This tree is found in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.