The family Heteropyxidaceae, or lavender tree family as it is commonly known, is a small family with only two species in southern Africa. It is characterized by alternate, entire, simple leaves with secretory cavities. These emit a pleasant smell when crushed. The flowers are small and inconspicuous. The lavender tree has drooping foliage. The leaves are narrowly elliptic and are arranged spirally. They are shiny dark green above and paler green below, slightly hairy to hairless when mature. When crushed they produce a strong lavender scent. The leaf petiole is slender and pink over the lower half.