Amblygonocarpus obtusangulus (Oliv.) Harms
Amblygonocarpus schweinfurthii Harms
Tetrapleura andongensis Welw. ex Oliv.
Tetrapleura andongensis schweinfurthii (Harms) Aubrev.
Seedpods and seeds
Photograph by: Ton Rulkens
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
Amblygonocarpus andongensis is a deciduous tree with a spreading crown; usually growing up to 20 metres tall, occasionally to 25 metres. The straight bole is unbuttressed, it can be branchless for up to 10 metres and up to 90cm in diameter[
The tree has a range of uses, being harvested from the wild for food, medicines and as a source of wood, fuel and charcoal. A beautifully graceful plant that could be grown as an ornamental[
The inner bark, roots and seeds have been recorded to be poisonous, but are used in various medicinal or food preparations[
The pulverized pods are used as a fish poison[
Tropical Africa - savannah lands from Ghana and Mali to Ethiopia and Uganda, south to Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Open forests on sand; sandstone; savannah and rather open grass woodland in moister places; savannah on fine gravel; deciduous woodland of various types; at elevations from around sea-level to 1,370 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[
Seeds - roasted[
]. They are also boiled, fermented and then used as a condiment - although they are hard to prepare and therefore only used in small amounts[
]. The seeds contain about 12% oil, with a high proportion of linoleic acid[
]. The woody seedpod is up to 20cm long and 3cm wide, containing around 10, slightly flattened, hard, brown seeds that are up to 13mm long and 8mm wide[
The root is emetic and vermifuge[
]. A decoction is used to treat food poisoning, colic, cough and parasites[
The bark is used as an antidote for snakebites[
A bark decoction is applied topically to sores[
A leaf extract is used to treat stomach-ache[
The pulverized pods are applied to ulcers[
The heartwood is dark brown or red-brown, darkening on exposure, and distinctly demarcated from the narrow band of grey-white sapwood. The grain is wavy or straight, sometimes slightly interlocked; texture fine and even. The wood is difficult to saw and work; blunting of cutting edges is common. It can be finished to an excellent surface, is resistant to abrasion, and has good gluing properties. Pre-boring is necessary for screws and nails. The wood is durable and termite-resistant; it is resistant to impregnation with preservatives[
]. Known in southern Africa as 'bangawanga', it is used for joinery and furniture[
]. It is considered excellent for heavy duty flooring and for railway sleepers, and is also suitable for construction, mine props, vehicle bodies, sporting goods, agricultural implements, poles and piles, and vats[
The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[
]. Charcoal made from the wood is considered excellent for iron-forge work[
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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