A fairly rare deciduous tree, Steganotaenia araliacea is indigenous and found in the Southern regions of Africa.
It is a small savannah tree, growing to a height of between 2 and 7 m. Sparsely branched, the tree has a pale grey-green trunk which is very noticeable during the winter months. The bark is yellow-green to grey with a waxy texture and it peels off in papery strips or rectangles.
During October to November, the tree is conspicuous as dainty, yellow-green flowers are produced in rounded, compound clusters at the ends of the twigs. Flowering takes place before the new leaves emerge and heart-shaped, creamy brown fruit often form before the leaves are visible. New foliage has a fresh, green colour and the leaves are crowded near the ends of branches. The large, drooping compound leaves are spirally arranged and can be margin toothed.
The common name of Carrot tree refers to the fragrance released when the leaves or twigs are crushed – reminiscent of carrots or celery. The tree is fairly hardy and will grow well if not over watered.
This tree will provide interest in the garden with its unusual trunk that is attractive throughout the year. The small, delicate flowers add beauty in spring and the foliage, which turns a golden yellow colour in autumn, will add colour to your gardening space.