Flowering Plants         Trees of Westford Bridge            Flora      Tree list  

There are over 116 tree species  in the Southern Cape. Of these, 82 can be found in the Reserve. Many may be seen along the trails and have been labelled for easy identification.

The most common way to identify a tree is by its leaf. But leaves may vary in size and colour, even on the same tree, so also take note of the bark and any flowers or fruit. The leaf-key below may be helpful. It is a modified version of the one used by Dr. F von Breitenbach in his book Southern Cape Forests and Trees, published by the Government Printer, Pretoria, 1974.

  1. Observe whether the leaves are simple or compound. (see 1 and 2 below)

  2. If simple, observe whether they are opposite, alternate, whorled, spiralled or clustered. (see 1.1 - 1.5 below)

  3. If compound, observe whether they are digitate or pinnate (see 2.1 and 2.2 below)

  4. Click on the appropriate button to see thumbnail pictures of the trees in the chosen group.

  5. Click on the name under the appropriate picture to access detailed information about a specific tree.



1. Simple leaf.

(a single blade with a bud at the base of the leaf stem)

2. Compound leaf.

(a leaf with more than one blade attached to a single stem)

1.1 Opposite. (Two leaves per node. Leaves directly opposite each other on the stem. )

Opposite leaf


2.1 Digitate or Bi/Tri - foliate. (Leaf blades on one stem, arranged like fingers on the palm of a hand)

Digitate leaf

1.2 Alternate. (One leaf per node. Leaves staggered on opposite sides of the stem.)

Alternate leaf


2.2 Pinnate. (Multi leaf blades on one stem, arranged like the veins of a feather)

Pinnate leaf

1.3 Whorled. (Three or more leaves per node.).                                                         

Whorled leaf


3. Leaves very small,  cypress-like scales or needle-like.

Other leaf


1.4 Spirally-arranged.  (one leaf per node. Leaves staggered , but around the stem in a spiral rather than on opposite sides.)..                                                         

Spiralled leaf






1.5 Clustered. (All leaves rising from almost the same point.).                                                         

Clustered leaf