Vepris lanceolata is an evergreen tree or shrub reaching 20 m in height in favourable forest conditions (SA Tree List No. 261).
The grey bark of this tree is fairly smooth with longitudinal linear markings or striations. The flowers are small and yellow in dense terminal heads, growing during summer.
The fruit is fleshy, spherical, divided into four sections and black when ripe in autumn and winter. The wood is white to yellow and hard, but flexible or elastic.
The species distribution is on the South African south and east coasts, as well as the north-eastern Lowveld region inland. It also grows in tropical Africa as far as Kenya and on the islands of Mauritius and Réunion (Schmidt, et al, 2002; Coates Palgrave, 2002).