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Useful Tropical Plants

Diospyros lycioides

Desf.

Ebenaceae

+ Synonyms

Royena cistoides Welw. ex Hiern

Royena guerkei Kuntze

Royena lycioides (Desf.) A.DC.

Royena nitens Harv. ex Hiern

Royena sericea Bernh.

Common Name:

Diospyros lycioides
Leaves
Photograph by: Günter Baumann; African plants - A Photo Guide
© Günter Baumann
Diospyros lycioides Diospyros lycioides Diospyros lycioides

General Information

Diospyros lycioides is a shrub or tree that can be evergreen or deciduous according to the climate. It grows up to 5 metres tall, forming an open crown with drooping branches[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
The plant has a range of local uses, for fod, medicine and various commodities. It is commonly harvested from the wild and is sometimes planted as a hedge plant and shade tree[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.

Range

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

Habitat

Prefers rocky habitats and well-drained soils, but is also found along stream banks[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Riparian forests and thickets at elevations from 600 - 1,000 metres[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitSemi-deciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees, Insects, Birds
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Grows best in a sunny position[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. Requires a well-drained soil[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
A fast-growing species when growing in a suitable climate. In Zimbabwe it produces fruit after just 4 years, while still in the nursery[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
].
The plant can be thicket-forming[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
The plant flowers mainly of a night time, the tiny flowers are sweetly fragrant[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. The pulp is translucent and faintly sweet[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. A pleasant, sweetish taste, with a jelly-like flesh when fully ripe[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
]. The reddish or yellow fruits are about the size of small plums[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. The ovoid or globose fruit is red, becoming black; up to 20mm long and 15mm in diameter; containing 1 - 6 or more fairly large seeds[
308
Title
Flora Zambesiaca
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://apps.kew.org/efloras/fz/intro.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online flora of plants from the Zambezi River basin. It lists a number of the plant uses as well as the habitats and botanical descriptions of the plants.
].

The roasted, ground seeds can be used as a coffee substitute[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Medicinal

The roots are chewed as an effective treatment for bad colds or persistent coughing[
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 decoction of the root, often combined with the roots of Ximenia caffra (plus those of Gymnosporia senegalensis if there is severe pain), is used to treat chest ailments[[
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.
].
Applied externally, the roasted and powdered roots, mixed with mutton fat, make a thorn plaster and are also used to ease body pains[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant can be used for hedging or as a screen[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Other Uses

Twigs from this species are commonly used as a toothbrush and have been found to contain effective antibacterial compounds[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. The roots are also used - a section of the root about the thickness of a pencil is removed, one end is frayed and this is used as the brush end 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 yellowish brown dye is obtained from the roots[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

The bark is a source of tannins[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

The wood is of high quality[
323
Title
Lost Crops of Africa. Vol. 3 Fruits.
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
National Academy Press
Year
2008
ISBN
030910596X
Description
Masses of information on about 70 species of plants that have been utilized as fruits in Africa.
]. It is used to build huts and to make spoons[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a hard seedcoat and benefits from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
As a rule fresh seeds have a high percentage of fertility. The seedlings develop long taproots at an early stage, often before any appreciable elongation of the shoot takes place. The growth of the seedling is decidedly slow [
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].
Cuttings are very difficult to root[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2021-02-25. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Diospyros+lycioides>

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