This slow growing evergreen tree is an extremely versatile all-rounder. Growing to a height of 3 – 5 m with a non-aggressive root system, the Kei-apple lends itself to many applications, whether planted on its own, in a border or as a screen. It can be used as a container tree and is ideal for bonsai.
The tree can easily be pruned to create a compact neat shape which makes it ideal for confined spaces. The leaves vary from older dark green to lustrous glossy green with the new leaves. The foliage is dense and the branches have long thorns which encourage birds to nest in these trees for protection.
In summer the velvety yellow fruit attracts animals, birds and insects alike. The thorny branches provide security when used as a hedge plant and can be used in floral arrangements as a focal point. This native tree derives its name from the Kei River in the Eastern Cape where the yellow apricot sized fruit was long used by the inhabitants. Very hardy, the Kei apple is extremely drought and cold resistant, and adapts to inland and coastal areas equally.