Evergreen to semi-deciduous tree with a spreading rounded crown valued for its longevity. Pappea capensis is widespread in Southern Africa from the Northern Cape through the drier Karoo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng as well as Mozambique, Zimbabwe and northwards into eastern and southern tropical Africa. This tree is found naturally growing in Savanna grasslands as well as on rocky outcrops.
The leaves of the jacket plum are simple, oblong and rough textured. In Spring, new pink bronze leaves appear, blending well with the dark green old leaves making the jacket plum an attractive display in the garden. Pappea capensis also produces scented flowers which attract insects and birds to the garden from September to March. These are followed by round green velvety capsules which split open to reveal bright red very juicy fruits with a tart flavour.
It is suitable as a street tree or for shade in parking lots because of its non- aggressive root system and frost tolerance. This tree is also well suited as part of a mixed screen or wind barrier or as part of a natural bush cluster in a wildlife-friendly garden or in large landscapes like parks and golf courses.