Stem markings on the young Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra are different to those on old marulas. Red-brown with superficial flaking in small patches give way over time to multicoloured grey and the bigger, thicker flakes that drop off old trunks.
The South African distribution of this tree lies in the northeast of South Africa, in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and North West, much more widely in Africa.
The trees grow in medium and low altitude woodland and bushveld. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Schmidt, et al, 2002; iSpot; http://redlist.sanbi.org).