A semi-deciduous to evergreen shrub which can also grow into a small tree about 6 to 8 m in height; it is deciduous to evergreen and has a flat crown. The bark is grey, rough and thick, and the small branches have reddish brown lenticels (small, corky spots on the bark). The leaves are spirally arranged in whorls of 3 and they are oblong to obovate, 25–120 x 15–40 mm, dark green above and paler green to silver underneath.
The flowers are small and white, arranged in axillary and terminal clusters in the form of a slender pyramid of about 100 mm long which occurs from January to May. The kidney-shaped fruits are about 7 x10 mm and become black when mature, from February to September.Distribution and habitat
The broad-leaved resin tree is distributed from tropical Africa through southern Mozambique and southeastern Zimbabwe to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The variety elliptica occurs inland in bushveld areas on rocky or loamy soils.
Name derivation and historical aspects
The origin of the name Ozoroa is unknown; obovata refers to the egg-shaped leaves with the widest point being away from the stem.
Uses and cultural aspectsThe leaves are eaten by browsers (game animals that eat leaves) while the bark is chewed and eaten by elephants and the fruits are eaten by some bird species such as hornbills. The nectar produced by small spots on the green fruits is utilized by ants.