Cordia caffra, commonly known as the septee tree, is a small to medium sized, deciduous tree growing to 7 m, rarely reaching 20 m. On coastal dunes it may become only a small shrub, often prostrate (SA Tree List No. 652).
The bark is smooth, creamy brown and often mottled, some scattered pink patches and flaking pieces usually present.
The species distribution lies in a coastal strip along the east coast of South Africa in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as inland in the Lowveld parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo; also in southern Mozambique.
The species habitat is dune scrub, forests and woodland, as well as along forest margins and near streams. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
Five Cordia species occur in South Africa, 250 worldwide (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; www.plantzafrica.com; www.redlist.sanbi.org).