Brandy Bush – Grewia flava

By fruit bearing trees
May 22, 2012
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Brandy Bush, Grewia flava, also known as Velvet Raisin, is a sort of sprawling multi-stemmed, low growing shrubby, up to 2 m tall, fruit bearing plant, indigenous to Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa. Bark is dark grey-brown with a smooth finish but young branches grey and hairy. Brandy Bush is similar in descriptor to some of the other raisin bushes.

Grewia flava leaves are alternate, elliptic, up to 7cm long and 2.5 cm wide, greyish green hairy on both surfaces, 3-veined from the almost symmetric base and somewhat coarsely serrated margins. A identifying feature of the leaves is that grow upright or horizontal and do not flag downwards. Flowers are yellow fading to orange-brown and star-shaped, 1.5 cm in diameter, solitary or in few-flowered axillary heads.

Brandy Bush Fruit

Brandy Bush fruit is globose or 2-lobed, about 8 mm in diameter, red-brown when mature and edible. It is traditionally used to brew beer and to flavor alcohol. Fruit is also squashed, soaked for a while in water and consumed as porridge.

Brandy Bush Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is from fresh clean seeds soaked in hot water overnight. Germination is unreliable and takes up to about 24 days to take place. Brandy Bush is a valuable fodder plant for wild life and cattle. It is a tough shrub once established hardy to short frosts and drought resistant. Grewia flava is a member of the family Tiliaceae the genus Grewia.

The principal socio-economic uses of Grewia flava include direct consumption of berries, use of stems for building purposes and trading of berries as a source of income to some people.

Brandy Bush – Grewia flava

Fruit and Nut Trees

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