This species has been much confused in the literature with Elaeodendron zeyheri Spreng. ex Turcz., a shrub or small tree up to 13 metres tall occurring in Mozambique and South Africa, and probably with similar uses[
This name is not universally accepted. We have followed the treatment in African Plant Database[
] and others, but some botanists are rejecting the Genus name Elaeodendron and are merging it with Cassine[
]. In that case, this species will be Cassine crocea (Thunb.) Kuntze[
Cassine crocea (Thunb.) Kuntze
Cassine papillosa (Hochst.) Kuntze
Crocoxylon croceum (Thunb.) N.Robson
Elaeodendron capense Eckl. & Zeyh.
Elaeodendron papillosum Hochst.
Ilex crocea Thunb.
Fruits and leaves
Photograph by: Kousvet
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Elaeodendron croceum is an evergreen tree with a neat, upright shape; it can grow from 2.5 - 10.5 metres tall[
The tree has an attractive wood which is sometimes harvested from the wild and used. It is also the source of a dye and tannins and, even though poisonous, is said to be used medicinally. An attractive tree, it is grown as an ornamental in gardens, especially in S. Africa[
Most parts of the plant are poisonous[
], presumably due to the presence of alkaloids[
Southern Africa - Zimbabwe, S. Africa.
Evergreen forest at elevations from sea level to around 1,980 metres[
]. Margins of coastal and other moist inland forests[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
When growing in wet conditions, the outer portion of the bark breaks off more frequently, exposing the characteristic yellow pigments that the species shares with other Celastraceae such as Cassine peragua and Pterocelastrus echinatus. The yellow bark is then remarkably conspicuous[
The tree is not usually a fast grower[
]. Young plants tend to grow very slowly or remain straggly for a long period, but this could be an adaptation to forest conditions where sun and space are limited[
This species is better known as a medicinal plant[
]. No uses are given[
The bark contains a yellow pigment[
The bark has been used for tanning and dyeing[
The yellow wood is hard[
]. It is probably used for joinery and furniture, and is suitable for heavy construction, heavy flooring, interior trim, ship building, vehicle bodies, mine props, handles, ladders, sporting goods, toys, novelties, turnery, pattern making, veneer and plywood[
The wood is used for fuel and for making charcoal[
Seed - easy to germinate. If the stone covering of the seed is not removed or broken, germination can take anything from 12 - 30 months[
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