Fagara bukobensis Engl.
Fagara chalybea (Engl.) Engl.
Fagara fischeri Engl.
Fagara homblei De Wild.
Fagara merkeri Engl.
Fagara mpwapwensis Engl.
Fagara olitoria (Engl.) Engl.
Zanthoxylum olitorium Engl.
Zanthoxylum chalybeum is a deciduous shrub or tree with a rounded but open crown; it can grow from 1.5 - 10 metres tall, The bole can be 15 - 40cm in diameter, with large woody spines to 2cm long[
A popular traditional medicine in east Africa, the tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a tea, medicine, toothbrush and timber.
East tropical Africa - Ethiopia and Somalia, south to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Dry bushland and wooded grassland; termite mounds; well drained slopes, where it is locally common; riverine forest; bushland at elevations from sea level to around 1,560 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
A plant of the tropics and subtropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,600 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 24Â°c, but can tolerate 12 - 32Â°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 800 - 1,400mm, but tolerates 750 - 1,500mm, growing in areas where there is a distinct dry season[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 5 - 7.5[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.
Leaves - cooked and used as a vegetable[
]. The leaves are dried, pounded and sieved. The vegetable powder is soaked in hot water and stirred into a thick vegetable paste, which may be mixed with groundnut paste and eaten
with a staple food such as ugali[
The dried leaves are brewed to make an aromatic tea[
This is a well known plant in traditional medicine in Africa. In Somalia the leaves have been reported to be used against stomach pain and urinary retention[
Bark extracts are said to cure malaria[
A decoction of the bark and roots is used as a remedy for malaria, generalized body pains, coughs, scorpion bites, snakebites, oedema, anaemia, and body swellings[
]. It is also used as a gargle for treating toothache[
The bark and root powder is mixed with oil and applied as a liniment for treating pains and sprains[
The twigs are used as toothbrushes[
The wood is very hard, heavy, elastic and highly durable. It works well, although it is difficult to nail; finishes and polishes well. It has been used for carving, turnery, building poles, bedsteads, spoons, stools, drums, walking sticks etc[
The wood makes a good fuel, burning easily[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.