Calodendrum capense

Calodendrum capense


Common Names

Kaapse kastaiing (afrikaans)
Cape Chestnut (english)
muvhaha (venda)
umbhaba (xhosa)
umbhaba (zulu)


Genus Calodendrum
Species capense
SA Plant Number 256
Basionym Calodendrum capense


Calodendrum capense is a hardy, semi-deciduous, large tree. It has a beautiful shape and smooth grey bark. Mature trees often develop fluting at the base of the trunk. The leaves are pale beneath and a shiny, darker green above. This makes the crown seem to “shimmer” as the leaves move in the wind.

It bears magnificent terminal sprays of large, pink flowers that have raised maroon dots on the petals. The scented flowers are borne in early summer and sometimes with a second flush of flowers later in summer. This truly magnificent tree will attract both birds and butterflies to the garden. The large woody fruits are knobbly and olive green and they split to reveal large black seeds. Seeds are eaten by the African Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Samango monkeys and Cape parrots.

It is a host plant to the larvae of the Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly

Well worth growing as a flowering or shade tree.

Plant in shade or semi-shade, and protect the stem from frost and sunburn while young.

Size: 8 to 10m


Food for Wildlife:
Seeds are eaten by the African Olive (Rameron) Pigeon, Samango monkeys and Cape parrots.

Butterflies feed on flower nectar.

Host plant of the Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly.



Shade tree

Beautiful flowering specimen tree


Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Mpumulanga, Kwazulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape


Along rivers and streams, Evergreen Forest, Forest margin, Forested Ravines


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