Heteropyxis canescens, the forest lavender-tree, is a small to medium-sized evergreen or semi-deciduous tree, usually from 3 m to 8 m in height (SA Tree List No. 454). The occasional tall specimen may reach 20 m.
The species distribution is fairly small, restricted to a part of Mpumalanga and Swaziland. It grows in forested ravines and riverine forest. The species, although rare, is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; www.redlist.sanbi.org).