Peddiea africana is a much branched shrub or small tree at the fringes or in underbrush of evergreen forests. It is found along the South African east coast, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, as well as in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique and further north in tropical Africa.
The leaves are simple, spirally arranged or alternate. They are glossy green, leathery, lanceolate or oblanceolate, with short petioles or sessile. The flowers are tubular, growing in umbels. The flowers have no petals, the tube being formed by the ribbed calyx that ends in five rounded lobes. Flower colour may be greenish yellow or tinted red-brown or maroon.
The fruit is an ovoid berry that turns purple or black when ripe, sometimes with a tuft of creamy hairs at the tip. While the plant is poisonous, the fruits are eaten by birds. The bark is used to make rope (Coates Palgrave, 2002).