Scientific name: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Without a doubt one of Africa's most valuable and beloved people's trees, this medium sized to large deciduous tree is found throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa. Revered since ancient times for the multiple uses associated with almost all parts of the tree, from medicine to food, to timber and rope, this is a protected species in South Africa in terms of the National Forests Act, along with other iconic trees such as baobab (Adansonia digitata) and the National Tree, the yellowwood (Podocarpus sp.).

Male and female flowers are found on separate trees, the fruit is edible, and delicious, with a thick, leathery skin. The fruit falls off the tree and ripens on the ground, and a fruiting female tree can often be found in the veld by the delicious, fruity scent of the ripening fruit on the ground. It can be eaten either fresh or made into a jelly, which is fantastic with red meat. It can also be used to make an alcoholic beer. A number of marula-based liqueurs are also available. The white nut is highly nutritious and is hammered out of the hard nut between two rocks, and the nut fragments pricked out with an Acacia thorn, an ancient practice in Africa with an archaeological record stretching back many thousands of years.