Cleistopholis brevipetala Exell
Cleistopholis klaineana Pierre ex Engl. & Diels
Cleistopholis pynaertii De Wild.
Cleistopholis verschuerenii De Wild.
Oxymitra patens Benth.
Cleistopholis patens is a tree, usually growing 7.5 - 20 metres tall but exceptionally to 30 metres[
].The straight bole is slender and cylindrical, unbranched for up to 10 metres and around 20 - 90cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild mainly for its timber, fibre and medicinal uses. It has potential for use as a pioneer to restore woodland.
Tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to Uganda, south to Angola.
Common in disturbed forest areas, rapidly colonizing abandoned areas, at elevations up to 1,110 metres[
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Requires a sunny position[
The tree can grow very rapidly - seven year old specimens in Sierra Leone were 13 metres tall with a diameter of over 20cm[
The leaves are chewed with kola[
The bark and sap-wood are turgid with sap. The bark is said to yield water when cut[
]. The sap is reddish and looks like palm-oil and has a salty taste[
The leaves are febrifuge and vermifuge[
]. An infusion is used in the treatment of fevers[
]. The infusion is sometimes combined with lemon grass (Cymbopogon spp.), papaya (Carica papaya) or other plants and used in the treatment of infective hepatitis[
]. A decoction of the leaves is drunk and also used as a wash in the treatment of sleeping sickness[
The sap is reddish and looks like palm-oil, it has a salty taste[
]. The sap from the pounded bark, or a bark-decoction, is drunk as a treatment for tuberculosis and simple bronchial affections[
]. The bark is steeped in cold water and taken as a purgative and to sooth colic[
The pulp from the crushed bark, combined with pieces of Costus stem, is applied as a poultice on whitlows and oedemas332].
A bark-decoction is drunk, used in washes, vapour-baths and topical friction as a treatment for hunchbacks and rachitic children[
]. The bark sap is used as a nasal instillation for treating headaches[
The widespread use of the bark and leaves in local medicine merits investigation for the presence of active substances. However, bark tested for action on avian malaria showed no activity[
A natural pioneer species within its native range, where it is common in disturbed forests, and rapidly colonizes abandoned areas[
]. It is almost certainly suitable for use as a pioneer species when establishing woodland[
The bark is very fibrous and peels readily from the wood. The inner-bark yields a lace-like material which is remarkably strong, and is made into matting onto which cacao beans are spread for drying[
]. Cordage and matting are made from the bark throughout the tree’s distribution. It is used for the brow-bands and shoulder-straps used by local people when carrying palm hampers[
]. The bark is sometimes used to make hut-walls, partitions and sandals. The slash emits a strong spicy scent[
The seeds are used as beads[
The light-coloured timber is a bit woolly-textured, straight-grained, soft, light, not durable[
]. It can be easily cut and finished smoothly. Both sap- and heart-wood have a sheen. The wood generally has properties similar to those of balsa (Ochroma sp.) and it should be suitable for the same purposes[
]. Tree trunks are used to float heavy timber down rivers. The wood has been used as floats, to make drums, canoes and roof-beams, and is said to be suitable for joinery[
]. At the present time there appears to be no commercial use for the timber, though it may be of value as plywood[
]. Its capacity for very rapid growth might lend it to exploitation for pulp or cellulose production[
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