Terminalia prunioides, the purple-pod cluster-leaf or sterkbos (strong bush) in Afrikaans, is a shrub or small tree usually reaching heights from 3 m to 7 m, rarely 13 m (SA Tree List No. 550).
The leaves are clustered at the ends of many dwarf branchlets. They are dark green above, obovate with entire margins and hairless once they are mature, although the margins remain finely hairy. The paired leaf veins are indented above.
The white or cream flower spikes look attractive, but have an unpleasant odour. They appear in spring and summer.
The distinctive flat seeds are plum-red to purple-red, the outstanding identification and decorative features of this tree. For them to appear at their best one has to wait until near winter.
The species distribution is in northeastern South Africa, only in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, more widespread in southern and tropical Africa.
The tree's habitat is hot and dry, low-altitude, open woodland also known as bushveld. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; http://redlist.sanbi.org).