Cassine peragua, the forest spoonwood and in Afrikaans bastersaffraan (half-breed saffron) or barsbessie (bursting, burst or crack berry), is a southern African shrub or tree often reaching 5 m in height, sometimes 15 m (SA Tree List No. 414).
There are three noted subspecies of this tree, subsp. peragua found widespread from Limpopo to the Western Cape, while the other two only grow in parts of the Western Cape; some forms growing on coastal dunes are rhizomatous.
The tree’s distribution ranges from the Cape Peninsula in a broad belt along the south and east coasts of the country to Swaziland and southern Mozambique. It also extends into the Lowveld of eastern Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
Its habitat is mainly montane forests, their margins, riverine bush and some coastal dune scrub (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; Schmidt, et al, 2002).