The Cape silver-oak or water white alder, as Brachylaena neriifolia is locally known, is a small tree of the southern parts of the Western Cape (SA Tree List No. 729). It grows along stream banks and in montane forest.
The oblanceolate leaves may have a few teeth near the tips. The (mainly) entire margins are rolled under. The leaves are leathery, glossy and hairless on top while the lower surfaces may have some rusty hairs. Leaf tips taper as do the bases that merge gradually into the petioles (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997).