Enantia chlorantha Oliv.
Xylopia otunga Exell
Common Name: African Whitewood
African whitewood is an ornamental tree with a dense foliage and spreading crown[
]. It grows from 12 - 30 metres tall with a long, clear bole that can be 40 - 70 cm in diameter[
The stem bark, which is used in traditional medicine, has been shown to be an effective antimicrobial, whilst the tree is also often harvested for its timber, fibre and as a source of a dye.
Western tropical Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon.
An understorey tree in high rainforests[
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The stem bark is intensely bitter. It is used in traditional medicine in western Africa to treat jaundice, fevers, tuberculosis, bloody vomit and urinary tract infections[
The powdered bark is applied externally to treat sores, ulcers, wounds etc[
Modern research has shown that an aqueous extract of the bark has an effective antibacterial action, especially against gram-positive bacteria[
]. The extract has also shown antiviral activity and has potential in relieving pyrogen-induced fever[
The alkaloids palmatine, coloumbamine and jatrorrhizine have been identified in the bark, and it is believed that these alkaloids are responsible for the medical activity[
A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark[
]. It is used to colour cotton and other fibres[
The fibrous bark is used for matting, caps etc. The bark is used to make the sides, partitions and doors of huts[
The wood is yellow, turning brown upon exposure[
]. Heartwood and sapwood are not differentiated[
]. The wood is fairly fine-grained, rather soft, easily split and taking a good polish[
]. It is used for house building, furniture, general carpentry, etc[
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