Celtis africana, the white stinkwood, typically becomes a spreading tree of about 12 m in height (SA Tree List No. 39). In thriving forest conditions it may reach 30 m.
Where growing conditions don’t quite allow for such achievements, as is the case in many parts of the large species distribution (largely in South Africa’s eastern region and along the south coast), it takes different shapes and sizes, adapting to the resources on offer. The same tree is established in even more guises in the great diversity of its habitat extending across Africa to Ethiopia and the Arabian Peninsula.
The habitat of C. africana is often forest, grassland or thicket. The tree is commonly grown in gardens, city parks and along streets. It clearly deserves this favoured status for its looks, ease of propagation and fast growth (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002).