Classified as evergreen or semi-deciduous, Combretum kraussii is a fast-growing tree reaching a mature height of 4 to 10m. Its distribution stretches from Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo to Mpumalanga. This tree is found growing naturally on rocky hillsides, evergreen forests, wooded valleys, open woodlands and also on mountain grasslands.

The forest bush willow is well known for its foliage that goes through several colour changes with the seasons. In Spring, this tree produces fresh young green leaves that become streaked with white at the beginning of summer. During the winter season, this attractive tree’s leaves turn bright red to purple. The creamy white flowers are sweetly fragranced and are produced from August to November. The bark is dark grey in colour and has some furrows.

Although it prefers mild to warm climates, the forest bushwillow is reasonably frost and drought tolerant. Furthermore, this tree tolerates shade well and can be grown as a container tree for the patio. It is also an ideal as shade tree for gardens, pavements and along driveways or on paved areas as its root system is non-invasive.