The tiny Cunonia capensis fruits are forming on the green cylindrical spike that was an inflorescence some days earlier. The fruit is stalked, purplish in colour at this stage with two tiny horns protruding from its tip.
When the brown or red-brown fruit is ripe by mid-autumn to midwinter it will split, sometimes only after a long waiting period. Numerous small sticky seeds are released, often adhering to feet, feathers and bills of visiting birds, the unwitting seed dispersal agents. And what the birds do not get, the wind will spread.
The stem-tip growth that does much for easy tree identification resembles a butterspoon, resulting in one of the tree's common names of butterspoon tree. Two large, flat bracts are pressed together at the tip of a long, straight stalk. Between them the new growth is initially protected (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; http://pza.sanbi.org).