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Useful Tropical Plants

Baphia massaiensis

Taub.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Baphia busseana Harms

Baphia cornifolia Harms

Baphia gomesii Baker f.

Baphia henriquesiana Taub.

Baphia obovata Schinz

Baphia whitei Brummitt

Common Name:

Baphia massaiensis

General Information

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.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

610
Title
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Publication
 
Author
Beentje H.J.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=396814
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
Available on-line, a modern flora of East Africa.

Range

Africa - Tanzania, Angola, southern DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, northern S. Africa.

Habitat

Found at elevations from 1,100 - 1,350 metres[
610
Title
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Publication
 
Author
Beentje H.J.
Website
http://plants.jstor.org/search?st=396814
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
Available on-line, a modern flora of East Africa.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height8.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Requires a sunny position[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

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[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The branches are used as toothbrushes for cleaning the teeth[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
]. 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[
775
Title
Gemsbok Bean and Kalahari Truffle
Publication
 
Author
Leffers A.
Publisher
Gamsberg MacMillan; Namibia.
Year
2003
ISBN
99916-0-491-X
Description
Details of the traditional uses of over 200 species of plants in northeastern Namibia. Written for the non-expert, there is usually at least one photograph with each plant entry.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Baphia+massaiensis>

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