Calodendrum capense
kal-oh-DEN-drum ka-PEN-see

Cape Chestnut
Rutaceae (Rue family)
Origin: South Africa, 1789


©Street Tree Division
City of Los Angeles - Department of Public Works
Bureau of Street Services

Species characteristics:
Form - Semievergreen, depending on winter temperatures. Slow growing broadleaf tree, 20 - 40' in height with a spreading dome to 40' or more.

Trunk - Smooth, light gray bark.

Foliage - Dense. Leaves opposite, simple, entire, 3 - 6" long and
1 - 2" wide. Leaves are studded with oil cysts that appear transparent when held to light.

Flowers/fruit - Rose lilac flowers speckled with purple dots are carried upright on branch tips, covering the entire crown. Individual flowers have 5 narrow petals 1/2" long that hang in terminal clusters, 10 - 12" long, and nearly as wide. Bloom period is May to July, occasionally repeating in late summer/early autumn. Use budded stock for best flower color. Needs some maturity to flower. The fruit is a woody, 1 1/2" long capsule with a burr like surface of knobby prickles.

No significant pest problems are known at this time. .

Site suitability:

Sunset zones - 19, 21 - 24.

Clearances - Suitable for 5' minimum parkways, medians or cutouts. Suitable under power lines for many years due to slow growth and spreading habit.

Good for street sides, medians, parks and lawns.

Culture considerations:
Prefers moderately light clay or loam, well drained and deep. Flower litter.