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Plant Information

Common Name: TREE - NANA BERRY
Scientific Name: Searsia dentata
Alternative Names: Nanabessie (Afr.), inKlolo (Xhosa), Lebelebele (Sotho), Umkungu (Ndebele)

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Searsia dentata


  • Perennial
  • SA Tree No: 381
  • The Nana berry is a deciduous indigenous shrub/small tree that can grow up to 6 m high - common growing across Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
  • It has a smooth, greyish brown bark and a dense rounded canopy bearing pink leaves when young that turns in showy, lovely yellow to orange-red foliage in autumn.
  • The Nana berry bears clusters of small, yellowish green flowers at the end of the branches from September to November.
  • Male and female flowers of this species are borne on different plants.
  • After flowering, shiny bright red fruits are borne in heavy clusters on the female plants from November to January.
  • It is hardy, frost-resistant and grows in almost any kind of soil.
  • The Nana berry makes a beautiful container plant, has non-aggressive roots and takes pruning well when treated as a shrub.
  • It has a fast growth rate of about 0.5m a year and favours both full sun and semi-shade conditions.
  • The Nana berry is a decorative tree and is well suited to highveld gardens - ideal for waterwise gardening.
  • It can be planted as a hedge – it will form a very strong barrier if planted closely.
  • A good choice for wildlife gardens as the flowers and fruits attract a wide range of butterflies, birds and other insects to visit the tree.
  • The fruits are round and small, white and red when ripe.

Culinary Uses

  • The fruit is edible, with a pleasant, sweet-acidic taste.

Parts Used

  • Leaves and wood.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Several Searsia species, including Searsia dentata and Searsia pyroides, are used in South African traditional medicine to treat epilepsy.

Other Uses

  • The wood is used to make hoe handles and the branches are used to build kraals.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

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