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Home > Don't just hike > Flora-good > Common Spike Thorn

Flies and beetles love ...
Common Spike Thorn
This group consists of those trees and plants indigenous to the area and those selected are randomly picked from a vast list.

Listen to the flies orto the calls of the various birds who eat the fruits.Look for the many beetles which are attracted to this tree or the browsers who enjoy eating the leaves. You will certainly feel the prick of the thorns if you get too close.

Latin name
Maytens heterophylia Hetero (variable) phyla (leaves) refers to its habit of producing leaves and spines in variable forms, which makes it difficult to identify.
Common name
Common Spike Thorn
Widely spread and tolerant of variable habitats
Single stemmed tree with low branches, angular untidy outline.
Bark dark brown forming regular protruding blocks.
Leaves either single or in tufts on shortened branches. Vary from either toothed or smooth edged. Variable greyish-green and wider near the tip.
Spines long straight and of variable length. Leaves can appear on the spines, they are modified branches. Spines can be totally absent from some branches.
Flowers bears white star-shaped clusters on thick twigs. Bloom from February to June. Strongly scented. Smells of decayed meat, attracts flies and beetles.
Fruits small reddish-brown, borne in clusters. May- June.
Yes but not inviting. Leaves enjoyed by browsers.
Bark used for dysentery
Roots and spines for colds and coughs
Combined parts of the tree were used for snake-bite but not recipes available.
Hard, fined grained and varies from reddish to white, used for spoons, stools and knobkerries.
Garden uses
Not recommended due to its ability to attract flies and beetles.