This perfectly sphere shaped shrub will add formality to any garden setting. Not only does it keep it’s well rotund shape as it ages but it is an absolute bird magnet! Syzygium pondoense is indigenous and endemic to the Northern Eastern Cape and the Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal area. Here it grows along the rocky beds of streams which is why it is aptly named the Pondo Waterwood. The true value of this wonderful shrub is yet to be discovered in gardening circles. It convincingly has all the attributes that make a good garden subject and therefore should be a sure hit in any garden. Syzygium pondoense is evergreen and can reach a height and diameter of 3metres .
The new shoots and leaves are reddish in colour but as they mature become shiny and dark green with a leathery feel too the touch. The bark is reddish-brown when the plant is young but turns grey as the Pond wood ages. Syzygium pondoense burst into copious flowers in early summer. These sweet scented flowers are white with a mass of stamens appearing in showy, branched terminal heads. The flowers are loved by butterflies, bees and insects followed in hot pursuit by every garden bird imaginable.
In early autumn, the scented flowers give way to plum coloured, round fruit and due to the number of flowers in summer there is at this time an abundance of fruit on the shrub. The birds arrive once again to feast on this edible fruit. Although the Pondo Waterwood grows in the sun it will tolerate some shade, just keep in mind that it might lose some of its dense growth habit and excessive flowering in shaded areas.
Although this plant is very water-wise, regular watering and feeding will give better results during the growth and flowering times. Plant this coast friendly plant in well-drained soil.
Sadly, Syzygium pondoense is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List. This ‘red list’ is published by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species worldwide. It is threatened by habitat loss due to the fact that it often occurs along low lying river banks that are susceptible to periodic flooding. Elands Nursery is thrilled to commercially grow this unique plant and to ensure that it is still available to future generations. In conclusion The Pondo Waterwood is a superb ornamental shrub. It makes a good focal point with its bushy, round shape and will happily be pruned into a ball or lollipop. It is excellent for hedges , makes an attractive container plant and is bird friendly. So be a gardening fashionista and start a trend. Plant a Pondo Waterwood.