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Useful Tropical Plants

Zanthoxylum gilletii

(De Wild.) P.G.Waterman

Rutaceae

+ Synonyms

Fagara amanuensis Engl.

Fagara discolor Engl.

Fagara gabonensis Pierre

Fagara gilletii De Wild.

Fagara inaequalis Engl.

Fagara iturensis Engl.

Fagara kivuense Lebrun

Fagara macrophylla (Oliv.) Engl.

Fagara melanorhachis Hoyle

Fagara obliquefoliolata Engl.

Fagara tessmannii Engl.

Zanthoxylum gummiferum A.Chev.

Zanthoxylum horridum Welw. ex Ficalho

Zanthoxylum macrophyllum Oliv.

Zanthoxylum tessmannii (Engl.) Ayafor

Common Name: African Satinwood

Zanthoxylum gilletii
Small plant
Photograph by: Scamperdale
Creative Commons License
Zanthoxylum gilletii Zanthoxylum gilletii Zanthoxylum gilletii Zanthoxylum gilletii

General Information

African satinwood is a semi-evergreen tree with an open crown; usually growing from 10 - 35 metres tall though specimens can be as small as 4 metres or up to 40 metres. The straight, cylindrical bole can be free of branches for up to 15 metres, occasionally for 25 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. The bole is usually 10 - 30cm in diameter, but can be up to 150cm[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
] often with indistinct buttresses at the base. Straight corky thorns 1 - 3cm long are found on the bole and branches[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].
A multipurpose tree, it provides a range of food, medicines and commodities for local use. The tree is fairly commonly planted within its distribution area, often as an individual tree, but sometimes also in pure stands[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is also sometimes planted as a shade-providing ornamental[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Known Hazards

The bark is used as fish poison and arrow poison[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Botanical References


Range

Tropical Africa - Guinea to Ethiopia and Kenya, south to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Habitat

Moist forest, (evergreen) rain-forest, riverine and gallery forests; forest with Terminalia; upland rain-forest; forest regrowth, farmbush, old farmland, near forest plantations; wooded savannah at elevations from sea level up to 2,400 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitSemi-deciduous Tree
Height25.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist tropics, where it can be found at elevations between 900 - 2,400 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The mean annual rainfall in its area of distribution is 1,200 - 2,400mm, characterised by a distinct dry season not exceeding 2-3 months[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Prefers well-drained soils[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The tree grows fairly rapidly. Seedlings may reach a height of 40 - 70cm after their first year, and annual growth rates are 35 - 50cm. Trees with a bole diameter of 50cm have been found in secondary forest of 40 years old[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Trees may start flowering when 10 years old[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Flowering is very irregular, a phenomenon attributed to climatic conditions[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

Young shoots are added to sauces for flavouring[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The leaves are added to tea as a flavouring[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The seeds yield an edible oil[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Medicinal

The plant is an important component of traditional medicine. Modern research has confirmed the presence of a range of medically active compounds in the plant including an essential oil, alkaloids and saponins[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Various of the alkaloids have shown actions such as the ability to lower blood pressure, combat cancer growths, relieve pain and combat infections and parasites[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The bark of the stem and roots is considered to be analgesic, aphrodisiac and vermifuge[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is commonly used as an analgesic, especially to treat burns, rheumatism, headache, stomach-ache, toothache and pain after childbirth[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is also used as a treatment against colic, fever, urogenital problems including kidney complaints and gonorrhoea, and as an enema against severe diarrhoea.
The bark is applied externally to treat cough, colds, skin complaints and smallpox[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The leaves are used to treat heart complaints and snake bites, whereas a leaf decoction is taken to treat cough, gonorrhoea and schistosomiasis, and a leaf maceration to treat diarrhoea and gastritis[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The leaf sap is applied externally against an enlarged spleen[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A pioneer species that is most commonly found in secondary forests. Seedlings can be common in areas of forest that were recently burnt[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

The stem protuberances are used as plugs[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]

The seedcoat contains an essential oil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The roots are used as chewing sticks to clean the teeth[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The heartwood is pale yellow to bright yellow or yellowish brown, darkening upon exposure, and indistinctly demarcated from the narrow sapwood. The grain is interlocked; texture fine to moderately coarse; lustre is silky; quartercut surfaces show a stripe figure, and backsawn surfaces occasionally have a fiddleback figure; the freshly cut wood has a sweet scent[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The wood is moderately heavy to heavy, strong and hard; it is only moderately durable and often susceptible to termite, Lyctus and marine borer attacks[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It usually saws moderately well, but is rather difficult to work; reduction of cutting angles to 15° gives best results in planing; it can be finished to a smooth and lustrous surface, but splitting and a rough finish may occur after machine mortising and boring; good mouldings are possible when sharp cutters are used; the nailing properties are good, but gluing properties are variable; steam-bending properties are excellent[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The wood is used for construction in house building, for flooring, joinery, interior trim, panelling, doors, shipbuilding, vehicle bodies, furniture, cabinet work, mine props, railway sleepers, handles, ladders, sporting goods, agricultural implements, drums, toys, novelties, boxes, crates, turnery, veneer and plywood[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
].
The wood makes a good quality firewood and is used for charcoal production[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
].

Propagation

Germination starts 3 weeks after sowing. Seeds are recalcitrant and the germination rate is often low. Germination rates of 20 - 50% have been reported, but in western Kenya rates of up to 80% in 75 - 120 days. The oily and hard seed coat contributes to the often poor germination. Washing seeds thoroughly with a soap solution improves the germination rate and reduces the germination period significantly. In West Africa it has been recorded that germination is rapid and that viability of the seed is short. The seed should be kept in the shade, and can be stored for up to 2 months. To prevent insect attacks, ash should be added. Wildlings are commonly used for planting because of the erratic germination. Seedlings are pricked out into tubes at 5 - 12 days after germination, or 3 - 4 seeds are sown directly in tubes. The seedlings should be grown in the shade and slowly hardened. They are ready for transplanting after 5 - 7 months[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Seedlings are light-demanding and natural regeneration may be abundant in large gaps in the forest and in regrowth of old farmland. In Liberia seedlings are commonly present in such localities, but reportedly never gregarious[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Fruits should be collected from the tree before they open but when already reddish brown. They should be dried in the sun for 1 - 2 days, and subsequently the seed can be shaken out. The 1000-seed weight is 15 - 35 g.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-08-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Zanthoxylum+gilletii>

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