The lovely, indigenous Cordia caffra occurs naturally in forest, coastal forest and riverine bush in South Africa. As a decorative tree, the Septee is a year round eye catcher that does well in an urban environment and it can be used as an avenue specimen.
This is a fast growing, small to medium tree which will establish itself within approximately 7 years. Growing to a height of six to seven meters with a spread of between four to five meters, the tree has a dense crown with a slight drooping habit. The bark has a mottled, tawny colour and the stem displays a pale grey to white colour where older bark flakes off, creating an interesting texture.
The foliage consists of thin, drooping, alternate leaves that are a glossy dark green on top with a paler green colour below. The Septee is deciduous and during winter, the beauty of the branch formation is revealed. From September to November, pretty, sweetly fragranced, bell-shaped flowers appear in terminal clusters. The blooms have a creamy white colour and attract insects and bees with its nectar. Abundant fruit appear in turn and is a striking, orange colour. The fruit, although edible, is not very tasty, but a variety of birds find it irresistible.
The tree is fairly hardy and will tolerate mild frost, but should be protected when young. It can be planted in semi-shade or full sun and is an ideal urban tree. The Septee can feature as an accent tree in a small, modern garden, but will also serve as a solitaire tree in larger spaces. It is an ornamental tree and with its flowers, striking fruit, pretty foliage and interesting bark it will be an asset to the garden while attracting birds and insects.