Schotia brachypetala is a handsome, medium to large tree with a wide-spreading, densely branched, rounded crown. It has a single trunk that sometimes branches low down.
The foliage is reddish to coppery when young, turning bright green and maturing to a glossy dark green. The flowers are rich deep red, and are produced in masses, in dense branched heads on the old wood during spring (Aug.-Nov.).
Schotia brachypetala grows easily, transplants well and blooms whilst still relatively young. On heavy soils in colder climates it can be quite slow, but in warm, frost-free areas in deep sandy soil with plenty of water in summer, it is surprisingly fast, and has been known to reach a height of 12 m in 17 years. For best results, plant in a warm sunny position, in deep, well-aerated sandy soil, add plenty of well-decomposed compost (humus) and water liberally in summer. A general purpose granular fertiliser can be used during the growing season. It is half-hardy to frost, and young plants require protection, but a well-established tree in a protected spot, should be able to withstand a winter minimum of down to -5C (23F). Bark and root mixtures are used to strengthen the body and purify the blood, to treat nervous heart conditions and diarrhoea, as well as for facial saunas. The seeds are edible after roasting, and although low in fat and protein they have a high carbohydrate content.