Albizia rhodesica Burtt Davy
Common Name: Paperbark Albizia
Paperbark albizia is a deciduous tree growing up to 20 metres tall[
]. The bole is up to 120cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of timber.
The pods and seeds are poisonous to livestock; young pods are the most toxic[
Sawdust from the wood irritates the nose and throat - this has given the plant a local name of 'Sneezewood'[
Tropical Africa - Kenya and Tanzania south to Mozambique and South Africa and from there west to Angola.
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The powdered root is rubbed into scarifications to treat swollen legs and is used as a tonic[
]. A root infusion is drunk against impotence[
A bark decoction is used to treat cough[
The whitish wood is light in weight. Of no commercial value[
], but it is occasionally used for purposes such as carving[
Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
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