Dialium mossambicense Steyaert
Dialium holtzii is a multi-stemmed shrub or a tree with a spreading crown growing 12 - 25 metres tall. The straight bole is slightly buttressed at the base[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of wood[
The tree has a restricted range, being found in remaining forest patches in east and south-east Tanzania into Mozambique and parts of Kenya. It is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
East tropical Africa - southern Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique.
Lowland evergreen dry forest, riverine and swamp forest, rarely in lowland rainforest, also in woodlands at elevations from sea level to 500 metres[
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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[
Fruit - raw[
]. The white, soft, mealy pulp surrounding the seeds has a sour taste similar to tamarind. The hard seeds are discarded and the pulp is eaten like chewing gum[
]. The ripe fruit can be peeled, soaked in warm water and then squeezed. Sugar is added to the thick liquid, which is then filtered. The juice is then ready for drinking before or after being cooled[
]. The red-brown, rounded seedpods are up to 18mm long, covered with velvety soft brown hairs[
]. They become dry and brittle as they ripen, eventually cracking open to set free 1 - 2 grey-brown seeds which are smooth and shiny, in a thin membrane; around them is a mealy edible pulp which dries orange-red-brown[
The wood is brown with darker streaks. It is very hard and heavy. It is used for poles in construction, tool handles, dhow ribs and grain mortars[
The wood is used for fuel and is made into charcoal[
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