Psydrax livida is a deciduous, sometimes evergreen shrub or small tree growing in bushveld, Kalahari sand, woodland or riparian vegetation (SA Tree List No. 713). Young branches often grow almost horizontally. The tree used to be called Canthium huillense.
The leaves are mostly on young branches, positioned opposite on short petioles. Leaf shape is ovate. The leaves may be hairy, the margins are entire. The four or five pairs of lateral veins are raised on the lower surface.
The small, cream flowers have green tipped, reflexed petal lobes and conspicuous long styles. The flowers are strongly, unpleasantly scented.The fruit is about 1 cm long, oval to oblong in shape and brown or black when ripe at the end of summer (Coates Palgrave, 2002).