Autumn in the Lowveld lasts from about April to May and during these months the town experiences a more pleasant temperature than the summer months with nighttime temperatures of about 12 degrees and days a warm and breezy 25 degrees.
The autumn foliage of the Lowveld is truly delightful and you can experience it when staying at Nelspruit Lodge.
- Coast Goldleaf
The Bridelia Micrantha, or Coast Goldleaf as it is also known, is a tree that is found throughout the Lowveld. This is a fast-growing tree which reaches a height of 20 meters. The Coast Goldleaf will add a splash of colour to any garden with its yellow, orange and purple leaves as well as shade from a neatly shaped crown of leaves within about three years of being planted.
The fruit from this tree is edible and when fully ripe this sweet fruit is black. Boiled bark can be used for a variety of ailments such as stomach ache and diarrhoea. Bark extract is also said to cure scabies and if the bark is made into powder it can be used to speed up the healing of burn wounds.
- Jacket Plum
Pappea Capensis, otherwise known as the Jacket Plum or Indaba tree, has fruit in autumn and the unusual characteristic about this fruit is that sometimes they are amber and other times red in colour. The reason for this is unknown but the fruit is a tasty treat for both humans, animals and birds.
This tree is easy growing in the Lowveld while it does grow slower in cooler climates and can reach a height of 8 meters when fully grown. Oil is extracted from the roasted seeds, and the oil is used for oiling rifles or as a cure for ringworm while it can also be used for making soap. The leaves, bark and oil are also said to cure baldness, nosebleeds, eye infections or chest complaints.
- Toad Tree
The Toad Tree, or Tabernaemontana Eleganshas, has twin-lobed fruits with warty skins much like a toad. This tree grows easily to a height of 12 meters, so if you thinking of planting this tree in your garden make sure you give it enough space to grow. The fruit from this tree can be eaten. Once the fruit is ready for eating the pod breaks open to reveal a yellow pulp.
Zulu people add the pulp to milk. Traditional Healers have used various concoctions to treat patients. The milky sap from this tree is used as a styptic while root infusions can be used for chest ailments and stomach ache. The root is said to cure tuberculosis. As a cancer treatment the inner layer of the fruit wall is dried, pulverised and boiled. The water is then filtered and taken orally.
Kiaat, also known as Bloodwood or Pterocarpus Angolensis, can be recognised in the autumn months by their broad pods. Under the right conditions, this tree can grow up to 18 meters tall with dark brown bark and sports a wide crowned canopy of leaves.
This tree can only be grown in warm to hot, frost-free areas. The seeds of this tree are not eaten by humans but are eaten by squirrels, baboons and monkeys despite the pods having sharp bristles on them. When you cut this tree down it has a red sap much like blood. This sap was used traditionally as a dye or mixed with animal fat to make cosmetics. The sap is said to cure problems concerning the blood mainly because of its resemblance to blood.