Cunonia capensis, the rooiels (red awl) or butterspoon tree, is a small to medium, evergreen coastal tree that grows from the Cape Peninsula along the east coast of South Africa up to Mozambique. It is found near rivers and in moist forest areas at low altitude. The common name is derived from the pair of stipules on the sides of the growth tip.
The leaves are opposite, compound with a terminal leaflet, lanceolate with entire margins and are attractively dark green. The flowers are conspicuous creamy spikes blooming in summer and autumn. The fruit is a leathery capsule. The wood is reddish with white markings, works well to make good furniture.
Apart from this one South African Cunonia species there are some in New Caledonia near Australia. The insect on the flower in picture is one of thousands that frequent this tree in season (Coates Palgrave and www.plantzafrica.com).