The species grows from 9-27 m tall with a trunk diameter of up to 15 m.
The leaves are very attractive, being evergreen, pointed and glossy. They are usually borne in whorls of four. The leaf veins are prominent, branching from the main vein at about 90º. Small, pointed stipules can be seen between the leaf bases.
The flowers are small, white-pale mauve (later turning brown) and scented. They are borne in panicles about 20 mm in diameter and are carried on long stalks with conspicuous bracts.
The fruits are small and split open along seams, distributing many tiny, winged seeds.
Name derivation: “salicina” means with willow like leaves (from the genus name Salix = willow), unfortunately the meaning of the genus name seems obscure.
Cultivation: It is grown from seed (which does not always germinate well) and is fast-growing, up to 1 metre a year in the right conditions. It makes a superb specimen in gardens that experience no frost, it must be noted however that this tree will not withstand dry conditions, but will also not grow in permanently waterlogged conditions.
Ecology and uses: The seeds form part of the diet of the rameron pigeon (Columba arquatrix). The species has hard, durable, heavy and oily wood that is termite-resistant and has been used for dugout canoes, building kraals and for flooring and furniture.