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A picture of a White Ironwood

White Ironwood

Vepris lanceolata

Also known as

Wit Ysterhout (Afr.), Umozana

Vepris lanceolata by H. Goëau (H. Goëau (cc-by-sa))

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of White Ironwood

A photo of White Ironwood
A photo of White Ironwood
A photo of White Ironwood
A photo of White Ironwood
A photo of White Ironwood

White Ironwood Overview

The white ironwood is a lovely small tree or shrub which is guaranteed to bring birds and butterflies to your garden. It has light to dark silvery grey smooth bark and leathery apple green leaves. The tree produces tiny creamy flowers from December to March, and the fruit ripens from May to July bringing hoards of airborne wildlife to your garden. Look out for porcupines, however, who like to eat the bark and will eventually ring-bark and kill your tree. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape.

Common problems with White Ironwood

Generally problem free.

    White Ironwood Companion Plants

    This tree can be under-planted with shade loving perennials and small shrubs.

    A photo of Zulu Spurflower

    Zulu Spurflower

    Plectranthus zuluensis

    A photo of Clivia


    Clivia spp.

    How to harvest White Ironwood

    Harvest as needed.

    How to propagate White Ironwood


    Take 12cm cuttings from terminal ends of branchlets. Dip into hormone rooting powder and insert into potting soil. Keep moist.

    Special features of White Ironwood

    Attracts birds

    A number of bird species have been noted to love the fruits, such as the Redwinged Starling and the Crested Barbet.

    Attracts useful insects

    Three different species of caterpillars of the Swallowtail butterfly family feed on this tree and the best known of the species is the Citrus Swallowtail butterfly, Papilio demodocus.

    Pot plant

    Is a good candidate for a container and can be trimmed into shapes.

    Attracts butterflies

    Other uses of White Ironwood


    In traditional African medicine, the powdered roots are used to treat influenza and colic.


    The wood is used to produce wheel spokes, handles, roof beams, furniture, ornaments and turnery.



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