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Karoo Boer Bean

Schotia afra

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Karoo Boer Bean (Schotia afra) at Roger's Gardens

Karoo Boer Bean

Karoo Boer Bean

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Karoo Boer Bean (Schotia afra) at Roger's Gardens

Karoo Boer Bean flowers

Karoo Boer Bean flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  25 feet

Spread:  30 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Karoo Boerboon, Boer-bean


This beautiful, water-wise tree is a perfect landscape accent for dry, sunny areas, and is very easy to grow; blooms in the heat of mid-summer, covered with red-pink blooms that are attractive to pollenators; great for containers and used in bonsai

Ornamental Features

Karoo Boer Bean features showy clusters of fragrant red flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches in mid summer. It has green foliage. The small oval compound leaves remain green throughout the winter. The fruits are showy brown pods displayed in early fall. The rough gray bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Karoo Boer Bean is a multi-stemmed evergreen tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects

Karoo Boer Bean is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Karoo Boer Bean will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Karoo Boer Bean is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Shade  Screening  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features