A beautiful fast growing evergreen shrub with a wide distribution in South Africa from Swellendam through the Eastern Cape, Free State to KwaZulu Natal and into Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Northern Province. Rhamnus prinoides grows a multi-stemmed, small tree. In the garden, it tends to grow to 3 – 4 m while in its natural habitats it can take the shape of a small tree up to 6 m high.
The dark green shiny leaves are alternate or spirally arranged and simple, they are oval to elliptic to oblong-elliptic in shape. The sparse flowers produced from October to January are tiny and greenish yellow in colour. These flowers attract bees and other insects to the garden. After flowering, R. prinoides bears roundish fruits which appear on the tree between December and June. The green fleshy fruits turn purple as they ripen attracting a variety of bird species to the tree.
An established Dogwood tree can withstand low temperatures of up to -5°C when in active growth and up to -15°C when dormant. Because of its bushy and compact growth habit, R. prinoides makes an excellent screen. It also responds well to trimming and can be shaped into a dense shrub. Although this tree can grow in a wide range of soils, it thrives best in humus rich soils. The Dogwood tree can be planted in both full sun and semi-shade conditions.