The Cape ash or dogplum (SA Tree List No. 298) is a large, evergreen tree growing widely in Africa in montane forests, on river banks and along some coastal tracts. It is popular as a garden subject, commonly planted in parks and along streets of many towns.
The white flowers, sometimes tinged with pink, appear in lax axillary panicles during summer. They are sweetly scented, noted more for fragrance than appearance, being quite small.
The tree resembles Harpephyllum caffrum that has a watery latex at the base of a detached leaf.
The leaves, bark and roots are used for treating a variety of ailments in indigenous medicine (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997).