Mimusops obovata, commonly known as the red milkwood, is a medium-sized to large tree reaching heights around 15 m, occasionally 20 m (SA Tree List No. 584).
The main stem is tall and fairly straight, covered in rough, dark grey bark that cracks into squares.
The alternate leaves grow a dense, dark green crown. They are obovate, oblong or elliptic in shape with glossy and leathery blades, the margins entire.
The fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers grow solitary or in small groups on long stalks from leaf axils. The calyx is covered in rusty hairs.
The edible fruit is orange, ovoid, pointed, usually containing only one seed and appears mainly during summer.
The species distribution is in the east of South Africa, in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, as well as in southern Mozambique.
The habitat is forest, open woodland, dune and swamp forest from the coast to elevations around 1200 m. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Pooley, 1993; http://redlist.sanbi.org).