Ormocarpum trichocarpum, the hairy caterpillar-pod, is a small, slender tree or shrub growing from 1 m to 5 m in height (SA Tree List No. 230).
The leaves are clustered or fascicled on dwarf side-shoots or spur-branchlets. They are compound with a terminal leaflet present (imparipinnate). The leaf has from three to seven pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are elliptic to oblong with flat margins, not rolled under. Leaflet tips are notched, the bases rounded. The lower leaflet surfaces, showing the midribs prominently, are covered in tiny, scattered, black spots. There may also be some white hairs on these lower surfaces.
The tree is found in the northeast of South Africa, from KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo to central Africa as far as Rwanda.
The habitat is rocky Lowveld hillsides in brackish soils. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; http://redlist.sanbi.org).