Pavetta Lanceolata

Weeping bride’s bush or Christmas bush. In full flower, this bush (pavetta lanceolata), looks like a bride adorned in pure white, full of expectations and hope for a long and happy life, hence the common name.  The alternative common name is also apt as these bushes are in full flower during Christmas time.


Rubiaceae (gardenia family, katjiepiering-familie)

Common Names

weeping bride’s bush, bridal bush, Christmas bush ( Eng. ); treurbruidsbos, bruidsbos (Afr.); umhleza, ilitoba, umgonogono, umphonyana (Xhosa); igololembuzi, umdleza (Zulu); mufhanza, tshituku ( Venda )


Pavetta lanceolata is an evergreen tree or shrub, up to 5(7) m high, regularly decussately branched (opposite pair at right angles to next pair). The bark is greyish white.

Distribution and habitat

Pavetta lanceolata is fairly common in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa, in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. It also occurs in southern Mozambique. It often grows in association with other bushes in bush clumps, on forest margins and river banks, and can be found in abundance on Sibuya.

Pavetta Lanceolata

The sweet-smelling Weeping Bride’s Bush (Pavetta) is in flower all over the Reserve at the moment – a gorgeous sight and a delight to the bees!



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