Pterocarpus rotundifolius is a deciduous tree with an open crown and a mature height of about 10m. In South Africa, it occurs naturally from KwaZulu-Natal in the south, through Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Limpopo (Northern Province) to the northern parts of North-West Province. This tree is also indigenous to Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.

The bark is velvety grey when the tree is young becoming brownish grey, rough and longitudinally fissured on older branches and stems. The glossy pale green leaves are compound with sub-opposite pairs of leaflets. It bears yellow scented flowers from October to February. The flowers are a good source of nectar and pollen for honeybees. Flowering of Pterocarpus rotundifolius is stimulated by rain.

It is a common tree of drier to moist areas of the tropics and subtropics, Bloodwood grows well in areas with summer rainfall and temperatures in the region of 20 – 35˚C. Roots of Pterocarpus rotundifolius are non-invasive hence its suitability for group plantings along fence lines. It makes a lovely shade tree during hot summer months. When young, this tree is sensitive to frost, but become more tolerant as they grow larger.