Professor Tjakie Naudé, Department of Private Law, University of Cape Town

Saturday 3 February 10.00 am–1.00 pm COURSE FEES R250; Staff and students R200

Maximum number of participants 15

MEETING POINT: The boom at the Newlands Forest fire station parking area

When you learn how to identify plants, you often see even more of the beautiful details of each plant, which is a source of awe and joy, and inspiration to protect our precious natural areas. This is an indigenous tree identification course in the lower reaches of Newlands Forest, for a small group which can comfortably gather near a tree. In the course of identifying individual trees, the presenter will point out what features are relevant to the identification process, e.g. whether the leaves are simple or compound, whether the leaves are opposite or alternate, whether the edge of the leaf (leaf margin) is untoothed (entire) or has teeth or serrations, the pattern of the thorns, etc. Explanations of the meanings of the common names of trees (e.g. ‘assegai’ or ‘bokdrol’ or ‘wild almond’) will also be given, and sometimes the botanical names where these highlight characteristic features of the tree (e.g. ‘stellatifolia’ is ‘star-leaved’ for wild almond).


Recommended reading

No reading is required in advance but the following might be helpful:

Trees in Table Mountain National Park on the iNaturalist Trees of Southern Africa ID project website:

iNaturalist page with all 423 plant species observed in Newlands Forest:

iNaturalist list of trees in the Cape Peninsula:

TreePro – The Tree App – South Africa (paid by annual subscription)

There are various tree guides in book form. (Eugene Moll wrote a small one with just a drawing of the leaf of each tree, easy to carry around, or the Van Wyks have a medium size soft cover book with photos too.) Details available on request.