Nuxia floribunda

Nuxia floribunda


Forest Elder,Wild Elder and Forest Nuxia.


An unusual name, the genus is named after M. de la Nux a French amateur botanist on Reunion Island. floribunda means many flowered. Occurring naturally from South Africa and Mozambique and up into eastern and central tropical Africa where it usually grows along river valleys. It is regarded as being frost sensitive and drought sensitive though I have never had any problems growing it here. The family it belongs to is Loganiaceae to which also the Buddleia belongs. Common names are Forest Elder,

Wild Elder and Forest Nuxia.

Nuxia are small to medium sized trees which can grow up to nine metres high. Mine after eight years was about five metres high with the tree forming a bushy, rounded top with twisting branches inside. I did find that any branches that touched the ground tended to root so I have trimmed the trunk up off the ground.

This tree is beautiful for its large, foamy clusters of tiny creamy-white flowers that come out in the autumn. As winter passes the flowers turn pinkish-white. The flowers are scented and are a good source of nectar for bees.

The bark is reported to be used in Africa as a strengthening medicine after a village member has passed away and is also used for coughs, colds, fevers etc. The wood is hard, heavy and pale yellow in colour. It can be used for joinery and was used in early days in the construction of wagons.

I find this plant is an interesting addition to my collection and it is surprising that it is not often available.