Tag Archives: Oldwood

Ouhout

Leucosidea sericea

The Ouhout (Afrikaans for old wood) is a shrub or small tree of up to 4m high, occurring on the escarpment and highveld straddling all South Africa’s provinces (with the exception of the Northern and Western Cape), Lesotho, Swaziland and the highlands of Zimbabwe. It owes its name both to its aged, gnarled appearance and to its slow burning wood that produces copious billows of smoke, like old or decayed wood does. The Ouhout grows best in deep, damp soils in mountainous grasslands and along streams, and can form dense stands in suitable conditions. They’re exceptionally frost resistant, fast-growing and evergreen. Ouhout-wood is soft and not of much use for anything other than firewood and fence posts. Giants’ Castle Game Reserve and Golden Gate Highlands National Park have some exceptional specimens of this plant.