Terminalia sericea is an umbrella shaped deciduous tree belonging to the Combretacea family. This tree occurs naturally in a wide range of landscapes which include open woodlands and is common in tropical and subtropical areas. The indigenous Terminalia sericea is small to medium sized and can reach a mature height of 9 to 23m.
Foliage of this tree consists of grey-green leaves clustered at branch ends and are covered in shiny, silvery hairs, making the whole tree look silvery from a distance. The bark is grey and deeply fissured. It flowers from September to January producing pale yellow to creamy white spiky flowers that are unpleasantly scented. The fruits are oval, single winged and soft pink to rose red when mature, darkening to brown or red brown with age.
Although the silver cluster leaf is regarded a slow grower, it can grow much faster when regularly watered. When planted for shade in the garden, it must be at least 3m away from buildings or paved areas. This tree is drought resistant, frost tolerant to a certain extent and favours well drained sandy soils. Terminalia sericea establishes itself quickly when planted in the ground hence its suitability in reforestation, agroforestry and soil stabilization programmes. This tree can also be planted to drain waterlogged soils or enrich impoverished soils.