Abundant flowering is indeed the achievement of this Nuxia floribunda tree (SA Tree List No. 634). It was seen in midwinter at the Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch.
The much-branched sprays or cymose panicles of the inflorescence grow at branch tips as well as from leaf axils. The many individual flowers are small, only about 3 mm long.
Fragrance is added to emphasise the attractive trading proposition of nectar for pollination. The need for a prompt response goes without saying in nature: supplies will soon run out or the weather will change in this, the Cape rainy season, spoiling an otherwise memorable restaurant experience. The circumspect insect might also survive the hungry bird on the lookout for something more substantial than sweet flower juice.
This tree is partly self-pollinating, reducing its dependence on bees and the many other insects that value this offering.
The fruit of N. floribunda is an ovoid to oblong capsule, about 4 mm in length. It protrudes about halfway above the tips of the persistent calyx that formed the base of the flower. The fruit capsule has a pale creamy brown colour. It splits into four sections when ripe (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).