Beautiful wood is not the only reason for tamboti trees’ popularity. The medium-sized, semi-deciduous tree is also a jumping bean tree.
The tamboti tree Spirostachys africana, indigenous to Swaziland, is a ‘jumping bean’ tree because its seeds become infested with the larvae of a small grey moth which causes the seed to jump centimetres into the air. Check out the jumping tamboti seeds video taken from Hlane Royal National Park above!
The larvae develops within the growing fruits having entered the fruit while green. When the fruits are mature each splits into 3 segments. After falling onto the ground, the larvae inside the segments, causes them to move about erratically and vigorously leading to the name ‘Jumping Bean Tree’.
The Tamboti tree, Umtfombotsi is a medium sized deciduous tree which can be found at Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve. The name means “spirally arranged African tree”, referring to the manner in which the flowers grow. Hurry down to Mkhaya and Hlane to see these jumping bean seeds. While you are there, don’t forget to take pictures of the new members of the BGP Family and enter our Baby Season Competition!