Indigenous to South Africa, Zanthoxylum capense is a small to medium tree that has a wide range of applications. This is a wonderful specimen tree with glossy, dark green foliage and orangey red fruits during summer. In winter the decorative grey and knobbly stem draws attention and the typical bark identifies this tree throughout the year.

Zanthoxylum capense normally grows to a height of +- 5 m in the sun or semi-shade, and branches upwards to form a moderate, V-shaped canopy. The main stems and branches of mature trees are covered with prominent, knob-like swellings, ending in a rose-like thorn. The Small knobwood is semi-evergreen and the shiny leaves are spirally arranged towards the ends of the branchlets. The leaves have a strong citrus smell when crushed. White/green, inconspicuous flowers appear from October to February and the berry-like fruit ripens from November to April. This tree will attract birds and butterflies to your garden.

The Small knobwood is well adapted to drought and frost and has a non-aggressive root system, making it versatile in any garden setting. The tree is suitable for container planting and as a bonsai subject.