Baphia busseana Harms
Baphia cornifolia Harms
Baphia gomesii Baker f.
Baphia henriquesiana Taub.
Baphia obovata Schinz
Baphia whitei Brummitt
Baphia massaiensis is a shrub or small tree that can grow up to 10 metres tall.
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a coffee substitute and for making toothbrushes. The plant is quite attractive, producing flowers in attractive short sprays, these are white with a yellow spot at the base of the standard petal, and are sweetly jasmine-scented.
Africa - Tanzania, Angola, southern DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, northern S. Africa.
Found at elevations from 1,100 - 1,350 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Requires a sunny position[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
The seed can be roasted, then ground to a powder and used to make a coffee according to some reports, whilst other reports deny this use[
The branches are used as toothbrushes for cleaning the teeth[
]. A piece of branch approximately the length and thickness of an adult male finger is used, the end is frayed for use as the brush[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.