Greyia radlkoferi is a deciduous tree growing up to 7m tall with an open canopy and gnarled stems and branches. Its distribution in South Africa stretches from Limpopo Province in the North to KwaZulu Natal in the South. This tree is found growing naturally in deep channels along streambanks, bordering evergreen forests and among rocks.
The branches are light grey and smooth when young becoming dark grey, fissured and very rough as the tree matures. Leaves are oval to heart-shaped, coarsely toothed and lobed at the base, sparsely hairy above and deeply woolly underneath, a characteristic that gives this tree its common name and distinguishes it from its more commonly planted cousin the glossy bottlebrush. Flowers appear before or with new leaves from July to November. Each flower is 20 mm long, with deep red stamens projecting from the mouth of the petal tube, which is slightly narrowed at the base.
This tree is suited to grow as a container plant as it can tolerate drier situations of containers on patios and paved areas. It is drought resistant but frost sensitive. The Transvaal bottlebrush is a must have in a wildlife garden as it attracts wide spectrum of nectar eating birds and bees. This tree always create a spectacular display when in flower, with the bare branches ending in compact bunches of scarlet flowers. It can also make a beautiful bonsai specimen.