Sterculia guerichii K.Schum.
Sterculia tomentosa auct.
Sterculia triphaca R.Br.
Triphaca africana Lour.
Sterculia africana is a deciduous tree with erect branches spreading to form a rounded crown. It usually grows from 5 - 12 metres tall but can reach up to 25 metres, with a thick, fluted bole which can be 80cm or more in diameter[
]. The tree often branches from low down.
The tree is harvested from the wild as a local source of food, medicines and fibre.
There are some irritating hairs upon the fruits[
Africa - Egypt, eastern Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique
Hot dry areas, on rocky hills or the fringes of woodlands, at elevations usually below 600 metres[
]. Mainly found in fertile soils which have often been opened up for cultivation[
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Plants are intolerant of frost[
Requires a sunny position in a well drained soil[
Seed - cooked[
]. The seeds are pounded and then sieved, the resulting flour is then used as a substitute for pounded groundnuts or cooking fat when cooking vegetables such as peas or amaranth[
The leaves are supposedly edible[
An infusion of the bark is used as a remedy for mental disorders and snakebite[
The leaves and bark are boiled and the decoction inhaled to treat fever and influenza[
A strong fibre obtained from the bark is used to make ropes and mats[
A physical dormancy caused by the hard seed coat of the mature seeds of many species in this genus can be overcome by scarifying the seed. This is carried out by cutting away or abrading some of the seed coat to allow the ingress of water, though great care must be taken not to damage the embryo[
]. The aril surrounding the seed should also be removed - this is easiest when it has been softened through soaking in water[
]. The seeds germinate optimally at temperatures between 20 - 30Â°c. They can be sown in a nursery seedbed or in containers. A germination rate of about 95%, occurring within about 2 weeks can be expected if the seed has been properly treated[
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