Scientific Name
Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus (Lam.) Walp.
Higher Classification
Pterocelastrus litoralis Walp., Pterocelastrus stenopterus Walp., Pterocelastrus tetrapterus Walp.
Common Names
Candlewood (e), Cherry Wood (e), Cherrywood (e), Ibolo (x), Kaarshout (a), Kershout (a), Kersiehout (a), Rooikershout (a), Udwina (z), Ugobandlovu (x), Umgobandlovu (x), Usahlulamanye (z), Usehlulamanye (z), Utwina (x), Utywina (x), Witpeer (a), Witpeerhout (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
V.L. Williams, D. Raimondo, N.R. Crouch, A.B. Cunningham, C.R. Scott-Shaw, M. Lötter & A.M. Ngwenya
A widespread species that is still common in spite of bark harvesting for traditional medicine.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape
Saldanha Bay to the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Knysna Sand Fynbos, St Francis Dune Thicket, Cape Lowland Alluvial Vegetation, Albany Alluvial Vegetation, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland, Pondoland-Ugu Sandstone Coastal Sourveld, Transkei Coastal Belt, Western Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Boland Granite Fynbos, Eastern Inland Shale Band Vegetation, Thorndale Forest Thicket, Southern Cape Dune Fynbos, Leipoldtville Sand Fynbos, Hopefield Sand Fynbos, Atlantis Sand Fynbos, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, Hangklip Sand Fynbos, Agulhas Sand Fynbos, Albany Mesic Thicket, Central Coastal Shale Band Vegetation, Grass Ridge Bontveld, Albany Valley Thicket, Baviaans Valley Thicket, Bethelsdorp Bontveld, Buffels Valley Thicket, Doubledrift Karroid Thicket, Elands Forest Thicket, Fish Valley Thicket, Gamka Valley Thicket, Hamburg Dune Thicket, Gouritz Valley Thicket, Vanstadens Forest Thicket, Hartenbos Strandveld, Kasouga Dune Thicket, Motherwell Karroid Thicket, Oudshoorn Karroid Thicket, Saltaire Karroid Thicket, Sundays Mesic Thicket, Sundays Valley Thicket, Peninsula Granite Fynbos, Goukamma Dune Thicket, Saldanha Limestone Strandveld, Southern Coastal Forest, Swartland Granite Renosterveld, Eastern Ruens Shale Renosterveld, Mossel Bay Shale Renosterveld, Humansdorp Shale Renosterveld, Montagu Shale Renosterveld, Lambert's Bay Strandveld, Albertinia Sand Fynbos, Saldanha Flats Strandveld, Southern Afrotemperate Forest, Langebaan Dune Strandveld, Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, Overberg Dune Strandveld, Blombos Strandveld, Groot Brak Dune Strandveld, Tarkastad Montane Shrubland, Eastern Valley Bushveld, Bhisho Thornveld, Saldanha Granite Strandveld, South Swartberg Sandstone Fynbos, Garden Route Granite Fynbos, Agulhas Limestone Fynbos, De Hoop Limestone Fynbos, Canca Limestone Fynbos, Suurberg Quartzite Fynbos, Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, South Langeberg Sandstone Fynbos, North Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos, Scarp Forest, Tsitsikamma Sandstone Fynbos, Southern Mistbelt Forest, South Kammanassie Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Sandstone Fynbos, Kouga Grassy Sandstone Fynbos, Algoa Sandstone Fynbos, Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos, Kango Conglomerate Fynbos, Loerie Conglomerate Fynbos, South Eastern Coastal Thornveld, South Outeniqua Sandstone Fynbos
Dune scrub, forest and rock outcrops.
The bark is used for traditional medicine and sold in markets in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The species is used interchangeably with Pterocelastrus echinatus and P. rostratus. Cunningham (1988) estimated 146 bags (50kg-size) of Pterocelastrus spp. to be traded annually, and classed the species as declining in KwaZulu-Natal, especially if destruction of wild populations continued. Botha et al. (2001) cited Pterocelastrus spp. as being in high demand in Mpumalanga. Williams (2007) cites the genus as being sold by 68% of muti shops in 1994, and by 16% of Faraday street traders in 2001.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus (Lam.) Walp.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

Botha, J., Witkowski, E.T.F. and Shackleton, C.M. 2001. An inventory of medicinal plants traded on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Koede 44(2):7-46.

Coates Palgrave, K. 1977. Trees of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.

Cunningham, A.B. 1988. An investigation of the herbal medicine trade in Natal/KwaZulu. Investigational Report No. 29. Institute of Natural Resources, Pietermaritzburg.

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Palmer, E. and Pitman, N. 1972. Trees of southern Africa covering all known indigenous species in the Republic of South Africa, South-West Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. Volume 2. A.A.Balkema, Cape Town.

Pooley, E. 1998. The complete field guide to trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Williams, V.L. 2007. The design of a risk assessment model to determine the impact of the herbal medicine trade on the Witwatersrand on resources of indigenous plant species. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Williams, V.L., Raimondo, D., Crouch, N.R., Cunningham, A.B., Scott-Shaw, C.R., Lötter, M. & Ngwenya, A.M. 2020. Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus (Lam.) Walp. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/08/16

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Distribution map

© D. Turner

© C. Merry

© C. Merry

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

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