Among the most beautiful indigenous trees in our garden is the Cape Chestnut (Calodendrum capense), which we planted at least twenty years ago. It is known as Kaapsekastaiing in Afrikaans. This particular tree has grown tall and is shapely – pleasing to the eye throughout the year.

The tree is so tall now that the delicately scented blossoms on the canopy are best observed from an upstairs window.

They are particularly abundant this summer.

I am delighted for I find them very attractive.

These magnificent flowers are rather photogenic!

The flowers each have five long pale pink petals, alternating with five pink petal-like staminodes dotted with purplish to maroon glands.


24 thoughts on “CAPE CHESTNUT

    • Fortunately I do not have to travel that far to enjoy these ones. Several have been planted as street trees in town – and they are all covered in a mass of flowers at the moment: a real treat.


  1. Your tree certainly is a beauty, Anne and I love the verdant forested appearance of your garden. Incredibly lush! The little rain you’ve had so far has clearly worked its magic. I do hope you’ll get plenty more in your catchment area before your rainy season is over.
    We are trying to germinate 4 Cape Chestnut seeds and are hoping the 4 small cuttings we have planted will root. I have not yet had success finding a local nursery that stocks Cape Chestnut saplings.


    • These are such beautiful trees and are excellent for even smallish gardens that I am surprised nurseries do not stock them! Good luck with the germination process: I found two little self-sown saplings in our garden, which I gave away as we really do not have room for more trees. This is evidence that you are bound to have success with at least one of the seeds.


  2. I see that your Cape Chestnut is related to our California Buckeye horse chestnut, Aesculus californica — they are both in the order Sapindales. I think the buckeye is lovely in the spring when it leads off with green leaves before other deciduous trees. But then its leaves turn brown early, too, in the late summer, and detract from the beauty of the lush green landscape. Do the Cape Chestnuts do anything similar?

    I wonder if it does well in warmer parts of Northern California…. not that I personally have any space for such a magnificent species!


  3. Our Cape Chestnut (Calodendrum capense) tend to be semi-deciduous inland and evergreen along the coast.Our tree loses its leaves briefly at the end of winter and does not remain bare for long before they come out again.


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