Planchonia careya is a small tree, 4-10 metres high, which is briefly deciduous in the dry season.
Flowers are large, white and fleshy with numerous pink and white stamens 5-6 cm long. The individual flowers are superbly ornamental, but the flowering tree is seldom spectacular, as only a few flowers are usually produced at a time.
Another reason why flowering trees are not readily appreciated is because the Cocky Apple flowers at night. The flowers can be seen opening up at dusk.