This species becomes a tree to a height of about 15 m. The trunk is often fluted and irregular in diameter. The bark is reddish and fibrous and the outer layer can sometimes be rubbed off with a finger without pain. The bright yellow flowers of this species are typical for the genus as well as for the genus Campylospermum. The leaf venation of Campylospermum is unremarkable, with normal secondary and tertiary venation. In Rhabdophyllum, however, the venation on the underside of the leaf can be seen as very many parallel veins. When this species is in fruit, the persistent calyx turns pink and from a distance the tree looks as if it is covered in pink flowers. To separate the species of Rhabdophyllum it is important to observe the length of the inflorescence relative to the leaves, and to examine the ratio of the peduncle to the rest of the inflorescence – being aware that this can change from flowering to fruiting.
Seasonally flooded forest.
Distribution: Nigeria to Gabon and DRC.