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Family name: Celastraceae

Scientific name: Pleurostylla capensis

Authority: (Turcz.) Loes

Zulu names: umthunyelelwa, umthelela, umngqangqa, umthumelela

Other names: bastard saffron, coffee pear (English) koffiepeer (Afrikaans)

Short description: P. capensis is a large tree that is native to Southern Africa. It grows in coastal forest, dunes, and rocky hillsides. The tree has shiny dark green leaves, greenish-yellow flowers in rounded clusters, and small round & green fruits.


The Zulu name “umthunyelelwa” means “the one who receives from a messenger“.

The plant gets the name umthunyelelwa because the plant is used to encourage “messages” when dreaming.

Related uses: The bark is used to treat insomnia and irregular sleeping patterns. It is also used to induce vivid dreaming while sleeping as well as good dreams. The bark decoction is administered as a bathing agent and purgative to treat symptoms of witchcraft. Lastly, the bark decoction is administered as steam to treat pneumonia.

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