Pappea capensis is a hardy, evergreen, very attractive, small to medium sized, neatly shaped, dense tree. The bark is pale grey-brown with knobbly branches.
The edges of the leathery leaves are wavy and the reddish spring colours are very pretty. Sprays of scented yellowish-green flowers are borne from September to March.
This plant is interesting as they sometimes bear only male or female flowers and sometimes bear male and female on the same tree (androdioecious).
The long, furry, green seed capsules mature to brown and split to reveal a seed covered with a delicious red jelly that can be used to make preserves.
This tree is a must for a wildlife garden as it attracts both insects and birds. Many different species of butterfly also breed on the tree.
Plant as a single specimen among rocks or as an element of a natural bush clump. Fragrant oil extracted from the seeds, leaves and bark is used medicinally.
Size 3 to 7m