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About Marula - Origins

Origins | The Tree | The Fruit | The Nut | The Kernel

The history of the marula tree goes back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence shows the marula tree was a source of nutrition as long as ago as 10,000 years B.C. Marula, Scelerocarya birrea, subspecies caffera, is one of Africa' botanical treasures. In the Pomongwe Cave in Zimbabwe, it is estimated that 24 million marula fruits were eaten. Not only the fruit, but also the nut, are rich in minerals and vitamins. Legends abound on the multiple uses of the tree, the bark, the leaves, fruit, nut and kernels.

Most well known as the fruit that 'drives elephants mad' when dropped to the ground and lightly fermented, marula is a much-loved tree in the veld in Africa. It was a dietary mainstay in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia throughout ancient times. Abundant in fruit and in numbers, the marula tree is found widely in many of South Africa's Game Parks and rural communities including Limpopo Province, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.


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