A beacon spotted from afar, the tall, solitary jackal-berry tree may draw the hot and tired traveller like a magnet for relief from the blazing sun on cloudless days. The tree is a common sight in the northern parts of southern Africa, known well and valued highly by locals and quick learners.
No wonder that human and animal visits remove the grassy vegetation covering under the big ones. In season the edible fruit is an extra benefit during the cooler months. Whether the tannin-containing leaves are favoured by browsers is not certain.
The trees are often found in heavy, clayey soils near rivers and streams.
The main trunk of an old tree tends to be bare a little higher than seen here, but the few large branches carrying big chunks of crown are typical, causing it to deviate from symmetry and roundness (Grant, et al, 2001; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997).