The Kiepersol plant (Cussonia paniculata) also known as the Mountain cabbage tree is a unique plant in all its appearance.
It’s an easy plant anyone can identify from the distance because of its pronounced shape and appearance.
So what about its root system? Is it invasive and will it damage foundations and underground pipes?
Kiepersol tree or mountain cabbage tree has a taproot system that anchors the tree firmly to the ground. It has a thick and tough bark, and new shoots can grow from any part of the trunk as the tree gets old.
In areas that are subjected to heavy frost, Kierpersol might be vulnerable; and thereby lose its leaves.
But these leaves will likely bounce back in spring — presenting beautiful large grey-green leaves that are uniquely hand-shaped.
Is the Kiepersol easy to grow?
Growing Kiepersol trees is easy. This native shrub grows well in sunny rocky regions and makes a wonderful focal point for a sloped indigenous garden.
They grow well in pots and are also a beautiful addition to Bonsai collections.
Kiepersol trees are commonly seen on koppies such as those in Heidelberg and Hartebeespoort, South Africa, and they stand out against the grassy slopes.
Cussonia spicata: a Medicinal plant
The Cussonia spicata tree has a long history of use as a medicinal plant in its native region.
Traditionally, the root decoction has been used for fever, as a diuretic, and as a laxative. Its bark has also been used for mental health.
The plant is an excellent choice for small gardens and public parks. It prefers moist soil and can grow well in full or partial shade. Transplanting the Cussonia spicata tree is easy, but requires proper care.
The stems of Cussonia spicata are deeply divided, allowing the leaves to grow vertically. The flowers have large round heads and are 4-6 mm in diameter.
The cussonia spicata tree’s purple-brown fruits are 4-6 mm in diameter and highly attractive to birds.
The plant can recover from a moderate frost without losing its leaves.
The common cabbage tree is a popular accent plant in the garden and is also a useful food source for wildlife.
Bushpigs and baboons will eagerly consume the leaves of the Cussonia spicata tree, which provide a much-needed source of food during the cold winter months. Its leaves are also eaten by black rhinos and bushpigs.
Other animals that consume the leaves and roots of the common cabbage tree include bushpigs, baboons, and black rhinos. Even the ripe fruits are eaten by many bird species.
This plant is interesting to watch and a favorite of gardeners. Its thorny twigs are a beautiful addition to the landscape. A few people have even considered it a houseplant. It is a beautiful addition to the garden and can grow quite large.
This plant grows well in the Eastern Cape and withstands light frost. It is drought-tolerant. It grows quickly but takes a while to form a canopy. The leaves of the Cussonia spicata kiepersol tree are large and bright.
The plant has a very aggressive root system, and is best grown in a large pot, but requires little maintenance.
When growing the Cussonia spicata kiepersol tree, make sure to choose a sunny location. The plant thrives in sunny rocky areas and makes an impressive focal point in an indigenous sloped garden.
It can also be grown as a bonsai. Kiepersol is an easy-to-spot plant on koppies in Hartebeespoort and Heidelberg. It stands out against the grassy slopes and contrasts beautifully with the rocky backdrop.
Cussonia spicata is a native tree with a unique appearance and shape. This deciduous tree grows to a height of 18 meters and has yellowish-grey bark on its old stems.
Its flowers are small and appear in clusters of tight spikes. Its roots are very succulent and can support a variety of plants. Its flowers are white, yellow, or reddish-purple, which makes it an excellent choice for containers or landscape planting.
The leaves of the Cussonia spicata kiepersol tree are leathery with a prominent midrib. Its leaves are toothed and have an entire margin.
Unlike other trees, the spicata kiepersol tree grows at 70cm a year and can tolerate periods of limited water. Its roots are edible and have a medicinal value.
The flowers of this plant are borne on candle-like spikes and are often pollinated by Charaxes butterflies. Its flowers attract many insect-eating birds, including pigeons and starlings.
How fast does Kiepersol grow?
The Cussonia paniculata kiepersol tree is a deciduous plant native to the Western Cape. The plant grows quickly at first but slows down as it fills out its canopy.
Seeds of this plant germinate more quickly in the winter and summer months than in autumn.
Depending on the climate, this plant is drought-tolerant and can survive a heavy frost once it has reached its second year of growth.
This tree can be easily propagated from seed. The Cussonia paniculata kiepersol tree is also known as the mountain cabbage tree, and it bears green, spiky flowers that bloom from April to May.
When transplanting a Cussonia paniculata kiepersol tree, it is best to choose a young specimen with as much root ball as possible. Transplanting trees is easier in winter when temperatures are lower, reducing the risk of shock and root failure.
This species of kiepersol tree is also highly rewarding because its fruit is usually parasitic-free. The fruit matures to purple when fully grown.
This species is native to southern Africa and has a wide range of habitats. Its natural habitat is open bushveld and wooded grassland, and it can grow on exposed rocky slopes.
Does it tolerate cold?
It tolerates cold, and drought, but in colder climates, the leaves of Cussonia paniculata drop off. Its seed is very hard to parasitize, unlike other Acacia species.
A cussonia paniculata kiefersol tree’s rocky root system is ideal for a sunny sloped garden. Its cluster of leaves at the tip of the trunk makes it a focal point in an indigenous sloped garden. Kiepersol also tends to project its parent onto its partner, thus reinforcing the schemas of childhood relationships.
Pruning a cussonia paniculata kieersol is important for maintaining its shape and size. It is best to prune during the active growing season, as it will resprout new growth from the pruned branches. Pruning during winter is fine for pruning the plant but can affect its form negatively.
However, it is best to consult an arborist for advice.
A cussonia paniculata kieersol tree’s wood is both durable and useful. It was once used for brake pads on wagons. It is frost and drought resistant and is good fodder for domestic herbivores. Kiepersol also makes a good tree for Bonsai.
Kiepersol is common on koppies in Heidelberg and Hartebeespoort. Its whitish bark reflects the presence of underground water.
This African fig tree is distributed throughout southern Africa. It has large, rounded leaves that are arranged in a mop-like manner at the end of its branches. Its leaves are palmate and bi-divided into five leaflets.
The anthers contain two pollen sacs. The flowers are yellow or white and appear spiky. The trunk and roots are thick.
This eucalyptus grows in wooded grasslands and open woodlands. It requires deep soils for growth and thrives in dry and hot climates.
Its leaves are edible and used for stock food. Its wood was used to make brake blocks on wagons.
The leaves are also useful for fodder, and they are good for the livestock.
The mountain cabbage tree is one of the few deciduous trees that can survive extremely harsh weather conditions on the mountain.
With a taproot system that doesn’t spread out, the plant can be grown near the foundations of the house or walls, with no issues whatsoever.