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. None of the three subspecies is considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
Its habitat is mainly montane forests, their margins, riverine bush and some coastal dune scrub (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; http://redlist.sanbi.org).