Maerua hirtella Chiov.
Maerua meyeri-johannis Gilg
Maerua rigida R.Br.
Maerua trichocarpa Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Maerua uguenensis Gilg
Maerua uniflora Vahl
Wiegmannia arabica Hochst. & Steud. ex Steud.
Maerua crassifolia is an evergreen tree with a spreading, much-branched crown; it can grow up to 10 metres tall. The bole is often stunted and twisted, it can be up to 25cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of food, medicines and materials.
Africa - drier areas throughout north Africa and the Sahel; south through east Africa from Eritrea and Somalia to Tanzania; east to Iran and Pakistan.
Deciduous bushland; thickets; semi-desert scrub near rivers; in sandy soils; at elevations from near sea level to 1,620 metres[
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A plant of the arid tropics and subtropics, it grows in areas where the mean annual rainfall can be as low as 100 - 400mm and the dry season can be up to 11 months long[
Requires a sunny position. Found in the wild in dry, sandy soils[
]. Established plants are extremely drought tolerant[
]. They are eaten in couscous[
Leaves obtained from Sudan are reported to be very high in calcium[
]. The fruit is a brown, oblong pod, constricted between the seeds, and 5 - 10cm long[
The crushed leaves are used as a febrifuge, whilst an infusion of the dried leaves is used for arresting vomiting and treating stomach disorders[
]. Leaves in decoction are considered to be a specific against skin-affections of the head[
]. The leaves, pounded with the bark and taken in a draught in hot milk, constitute a cure for fever and toothache[
The twigs are used to make chew sticks as a means of dental hygeine[
A black dye is obtained from the wood ashes[
]. It is used by the Masai of E Africa to colour their shields[
The bark is used for the purification of water[
The whitish wood is very hard. It is used to make handles for weapons, implements, ploughs, water-troughs, staves and toothpicks[
The wood is seldom used as a fuel because it burns with a nauseating smell[
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