A variable species, it has been separated into at least three subspecies[
Canthium ellipticum Hochst. ex Delile
Feretia canthioides Hiern
Hypobathrum canthioides (Hiern) Baill.
Hypobathrum ellipticum Baill.,
Pavetta elliptica Hochst.
Feretia apodanthera is a bushy, deciduous shrub with winding or twisting branches, growing from 2 - 6 metres tall[
The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and cosmetic.
Tropical Africa - Mauritania and Senegal to Ethiopia and Somalia, south to Kenya and Tanzania.
Savannah bushland and woodland, often riverine[
]. Bushland, coastal bushland, thickets, often near rivers or on dry hillsides, forest margins, at elevations from sea level to around 1,400 metres[
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Often found on clay soils in the wild, and also found in soils subject to seasonal inundation[
The subspecies F. Apodanthera tanzaniensis has larger fruits than subsp keniensis[
Fruit - raw[
]. The red fleshy pulp of ripe fruit is eaten raw as a snack and, especially by herdsmen and children, are used for quenching hunger and thirst[
The roasted fruit is used as a substitute for coffee[
]. (Should this be the seed?[
The dried leaves are eaten as a vegetable[
A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea, syphilis and leprosy[
]. An infusion is drunk to treat stomach-ache[
The powder obtained from pounded roots is used to treat wounds[
The fruit is crushed with water and used as an antidote to snake bites[
The tree is used for making live fences[
The fruits are occasionally used as a cosmetic[
]. Used as a cosmetic face mask[
Combined with indigo (Indigifera spp.), they are used for making markings on the face[
The whirled branches are used as swizzle sticks for mixing drinks[
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