Sorindeia obtusifoliolata parvifoliolata Engl.
Spondias microcarpa A.Rich.
Common Name: Ochol
Ochol ranges in habit from a tall shrub with the main stems stout and spreading or, more commonly, a tree with a short crooked and fluted bole that can reach a height of 35 metres[
]. The bole can be up to 2 metres in diameter and strongly buttressed[
]. Branches produced near the base are often covered with epiphytic plants[
The edible fruit is gathered from the wild for local use, whilst the tree also has many medicinal virtues[
]. The tree is suspected of having a narcotic effect on those who sit or sleep under it: hence the Ghanaian names meaning 'close your eyes'[
Tropical Africa - Senegal, south to Angola, east to Sudan, Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.
]. Deciduous fringing and secondary forests of the guinean zone, in damp sites and often on stream-banks[
]. Lake shores, rainforest edges, riverine and in swamp forests at elevations from 900 - 1,700 metres[
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A tree of hot, tropical lowland areas[
]. In Tanzania it is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,200 - 2,100mm[
Succeeds in waterlogged soils[
]. Thrives in well-drained, loamy soils[
Fruits - raw or cooked. A resinous flavour[
]. A sweet flavour, they are normally only eaten in small quantities as a snack[
]. The fruits are nearly 2.5 cm long, red or bluish black when ripe[
]. The juice stains the fingers[
The seeds are sometimes eaten[
The bark contains a little reddish resin, which is used to treat jaundice and other diseases affecting the eyes[
The bark contains tannin and is purgative and diuretic[
]. It is used as a decoction or eaten as a powder in the treatment of various complaints including jaundice, cough, febrile lumbago, pains in the ribs, stomach complaints, asthenia, urethral discharge and toothache[
Used externally, it is held to be good for treating ulcers on the soles of the feet when it is compounded with the heartwood of Pterocarpus soyauxii, the feet having been previously washed in the sap of Aframomum giganteum[
]. It is also used in vapour baths and the lees used in frictions for treating persistent rheumatic pain[
The plant is considered to be an aphrodisiac in some areas, and the sap from a piece of bark cooked in a leaf is given to a girl suffering infatuation because she is under sorcery, in order to make her vomit up the fetish[
The bark and leaves contain tannin[
The bark contains a little resin[
A red paste produced by pounding the bark is smeared on winnowing trays to make them grain-proof[
The seeds are used as beads[
The greyish or greenish wood is soft to moderately hard, liable to warp, perishable and subject to borer-attack. It is sometimes used for poles, planks, grain mortars, stools, canoes etc[
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