These trees grow up to 18m in height under ideal conditions and are found in low-lying areas of tropical Africa.The leaves hang down and in the heat of the day the leaflets move close together thus casting little shade.
Although the leaves smell strongly of turpentine, it does not taint the meat of the cattle and game which feed on it.
A large moth Gonimbrasia belina lay their eggs on this tree and the larvae feed on them. These worms are a great delicacy in SA.
Mopane wood is dark reddish-brown to almost black and is durable, hard and heavy. Although difficult to work, beautiful furniture is made from it.