Cussonia zimmermannii is a tree with a dense rounded crown; usually growing up to 25 metres tall, but with records of trees up to 45 metres. The bole is straight[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood.
This is a very widespread and reasonably abundant species that is found mainly in areas close to the coast. Despite the threats to the coastal forests, it seems able to persist in degraded habitats and secondary forests. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
East tropical Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique.
Coastal evergreen forest and bushland, occurring in rainforest as well as drier evergreen forest, also in forest margins, at elevations up to 400 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Roots are used in the treatment of mental illness and bleeding after childbirth, and also to facilitate childbirth. Root decoctions are taken or used as a wash to treat fever and malaria, and administered against gonorrhoea[
Leaves are used as medicine for gonorrhoea, malaria and fever. Roots are boiled and the liquid is used as a tooth gargle to stop gum bleeding and bewitchment[
The marrow of stem and branches is eaten as a treatment of epilepsy[
Extracts of the root bark showed promising results in the gamma-aminobutyric acid type-A (GABAA) receptor binding assay, and also showed in-vitro antiprotozoal activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Plasmodium falciparum. Several polyacetylenes and stigmasterol have been isolated from the root bark. Some of the polyacetylenes showed activity against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, Trypanosoma cruzi, Plasmodium falciparum and Leishmania donovani. These results support the use of Cussonia zimmermannii in traditional medicine[
The heartwood is whitish; it is indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is moderately fine. The wood is light in weight, soft and brittle. The wood is easy to air dry, with little degrade. It is easy to saw and work, and planes to a smooth surface. The wood is not durable; it is susceptible to fungal attacks such as blue stain. The wood is used for bee hives, coffins, drums, boats and carvings. It is suitable for furniture and light interior construction[
The wood is used for fuel, although it is of low quality for this purpose[
Seed - best sown as soon as possible because it loses much of its viability within 3 months. However, seed sown in summer months will germinate faster (in about 4 weeks) than seed sown in winter (7 weeks to germination). Sow the seed in seed trays in a semi-shaded position, ensuring at least 15cm depth of soil to allow the small tubers to form. Do not allow seed to become waterlogged or dry out. Seedlings can be transplanted at about 4 months, but be very careful not to damage the fleshy roots when transplanting[
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