Sapium cornutum Pax
Sapium oblongifolium De Wild.
Sapium poggei Pax
Sapium xylocarpum Pax
Flowering branches (male flowers)
Photograph by: Scamperdale
Sclerocroton cornutus is a shrub or a tree; it can grow from 1.5 - 12 metres tall, with reports of some trees occasionally reaching 20 metres. The bole can be 8 - 30cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild, mainly for local use as a medicine.
The root bark is used medicinally, though it contains toxic tetracyclic triterpenic cucurbitacins[
Tropical Africa - Cote D'Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique.
Dense rainforests and gallery forest edges; more open secondary formations; wooded savannah; on Kalahari sand in thickets in open woodland; especially on sandy soils, but also on rocky hill slopes[
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Prefers a well-drained soil[
The plant coppices well[
A bark decoction is drunk to treat hernia[
A bark decoction is used as a mouthwash to treat toothache, scurvy and stomatitis. It is externally applied to sore feet, skin diseases and drunk as a purgative and anthelminthic[
The root bark, crushed in water, is taken to facilitate childbirth, as it contracts the uterine muscles[
A leaf decoction is taken to treat female sterility, cough and river blindness[
Crushed leaves are applied to insect bites and snakebites[
]. Leaf sap is used as eye drops to treat filariasis[
Extracts from the root bark contain toxic tetracyclic triterpenic cucurbitacins[
This species is considered interesting for use in reforestation purposes in DR Congo[
The wood is made into charcoal[
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