This woody shrub or tree is growing under the assegaais by the Neelsie at the University of Stellenbosh in South Africa. What species is it?

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  • 2
    How big is it (height and spread)? Does it have a single, main trunk, or is it actually more of a large shrub?
    – Bamboo
    Sep 29, 2017 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


This looks like Rhaphiolepis, a genus of mostly shrubs in the family Rosaceae. The two most widely cultivated species are R. umbellata and R. indica. These species are quite similar and easily confused. According to: http://keybase.rbg.vic.gov.au/keys/show/6559 they can be separated by the following characters.

Leaves serrate ------------------> R. indica Leaves entire or crenate ---> R. umbellata

Thanks to the good close up images provided, I think we can be fairly sure the specimen in question is Rhaphiolepis umbellata, as the leaves shown clearly have margins which are entire (smooth) to crenate (notched/ scalloped/ with rounded teeth) as opposed to serrate (sharp, saw like teeth).

Some links for further info:




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