Wonderboom (tree)

Ficus salicifolia - The Wonderboom
The Wonderboom grove from a trail on the neighbouring hill

The well-known Wonderboom (Afrikaans: 'wonder tree') is a dense grove of parent and daughter trees of the species Ficus salicifolia, that descended from a central bole of about a thousand years old.[1][2] It is situated in the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, Pretoria, and two circular walkways currently protect it from pedestrian traffic around its trunk and roots. As it has grown, its outlying branches have rooted themselves around the parent tree. This has repeated until there are now three layers of daughter trees encircling the mother fig, with 13 distinct trunks, covering a 50-metre area.


The tree was discovered by the Voortrekkers in 1836 under the leadership of Hendrik Potgieter who named it the Wonderboom. Many Trekkers rested under its shade on their journey to the Soutpansberg.[3][4]

In 1870 a fire destroyed a large part of the tree reducing its size drastically.[4]

The Wonderboom Nature Reserve was declared a national monument on 23 September 1988.


  1. ^ Palmer, Eve (1977). A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa. London, Johannesburg: Collins. pp. 91–93. ISBN 0-620-05468-9.
  2. ^ Palgrave, K.C. (1984). Trees of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik. pp. 113–114. ISBN 0-86977-081-0.
  3. ^ "The Wonderboom". gopretoria.co.za. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  4. ^ a b "Wonderboom nature reserve | South African History Online". sahistory.org.za. Retrieved 2017-03-26.

Coordinates: 25°41′14″S 28°11′30″E / 25.68722°S 28.19167°E / -25.68722; 28.19167