The scientific name for the tree that produces the timber commonly known as Transvaal Beech is Faurea saligna. In various local languages, the Transvaal Beech can also be known as, although not limited to: willow beechwood, African beech (Eng.); Bosveldboekenhout (Afrikans.); iSefu, umCalathole (Zulu); isiDwadwa, umOnyeli (Ndebele); mohlako, mongena (Northern Sotho); muTango (Venda).
As the common name implies, the wood is native to southern Africa, spreading from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, down to the North-West Province, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal (all provinces of South Africa) as well as appearing in Swaziland, which neighbors the areas of South Africa where the tree is commonly found. Some sources report that the tree is also widespread as far north as Tanzania and Kenya and as far west as Nigeria, although it is primarily reported in the southern part of the African continent. Regardless, the tree is reported to be widespread and prefers to grow in sandy or red loamy soils. It will tolerate somewhat dry conditions including rocky ridges and is moderately resistant to fire of low intensity. Continue reading