Definition of tambotie in English:



South African
  • An African tree of the spurge family, with scented timber and caustic sap.

    Spirostachys africana, family Euphorbiaceae

    • ‘Here, there are eight luxury tree houses, each encompassing a giant tambotie or leadwood tree and beautifully finished with silks, cottons and African artefacts.’
    • ‘Tambotie is indigenous to Southern Africa and occurs extensively in Mozambique where it is used for hand carvings and furniture.’
    • ‘The tambotie seeds will burst open and shoot all of 6 meters into the house as well as clogging the pool filters and all of the irrigation sprayers, the francolins will complain vociferously if you forget to feed them and whenever there is a breeze you find yourself sniffing the air for the smell of a veld fire.’
    • ‘The gold lasted for barely a year but in the meantime numerous trees were planted in the area: wild acacia, teak, olive, tambotie, beech, ebony, seringa, mimosa and quince.’
    • ‘The lodge lounge and main deck are built around an ancient termite mound and a giant tambotie tree, and in the past guests have watched as wild dogs have hunted and killed, in front of the lodge.’


Mid 19th century: from Xhosa um-Thombothi, literally ‘poison tree’.