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Majidea zangueberica - Black Pearl Tree


Mgambo is a little gem of a tree native to East Africa. Only 15' tall in captivity, it has a perfect shape, a rounded canopy of shiny green leaves and fat clusters of fragrant red flowers . The pods that follow split open to reveal expose velvet black seeds against a scarlet interior. They're so amazing they are often used as beads.

Black Pearl Tree is hardy in frost-free zones 9-11 and makes an extraordinary houseplant elsewhere. It grows as well in a container as in the tropics only smaller. And what a bonsai!

Mgambo is rare even in its native Zanzibar, but is drought-tolerant, easy to grow and compact enough to fit in most gardens. 

Soak in warm water for 24-48 hours, changing the water several times if possible. (A thermos is ideal for keeping water warm) Once the seeds look like they are swollen, they are ready for planting.

Don't bury seeds too deeply, surface sow and then gently push into the soil, covering with a light sprinkling of soil.

Place plastic wrap over your pot to keep in heat and moisture.

Place in a warm spot, but out of direct sunlight until it is established.

Remove plastic wrap once you have seedlings.

5 seeds.

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