This is a much-branched, spiny shrub or small tree 1.0-4.5 m high. Flowers are followed by fruits which are pendulous, flattened, pod-like capsules, up to 80 mm long, white brownish in colour, and split along the flat surface when mature to release buff-coloured seeds with papery wings.Rhigozum obovatum is an ideal shrub or small tree to bring life to gardens in dry areas where water is in short supply and garden maintenance is low. Although the yellow pomegranate looks drab during a large part of the year, it turns into a spectacular showy sight after the first rains in spring or early summer when it is covered in a mass of bright yellow flowers. When rain is sporadic it may have several flushes of bloom.
This beautiful plant occurs in the central to eastern Karoo, extending into south eastern Lesotho and the southern Free State. It often grows on rocky outcrops (koppies) in this summer rainfall, but semi-arid region. Winters are cold and the plant is frost tolerant. It can be grown on the highveld provided it is not over-watered and it will flower there and produce viable seed.
The bright yellow colour of the flowers attracts bees.
Uses and cultural aspects
It is heavily browsed by game and stock.