Fagara brieyi Vermoesen ex G.C.C.Gilbert
Fagara heitzii AubrÃ©v. & Pellegr.
Zanthoxylum heitzii is a spiny tree with a large crown of ascending branches, growing up to 35 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be free of branches for up to 20 metres and up to 150cm in diameter. The bole is usually free of buttresses, though it is often slightly thickened at the base, and it is armed with spiny bosses 8 - 10cm long, though these usually disappear in old trees[
]. Young trees are especially prickly[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber, which is mainly traded locally but also internationally[
]. The bark is often used in traditional medicine and is sold on local markets for medicinal purposes[
The bark is sometimes used as a fish poison[
The sawdust may be irritant; cases of allergic contact dermatitis have been recorded in saw mill workers[
West tropical Africa - Cameroon to the Central African Republic, south to Gabon and western DR Congo.
Evergreen and semi-deciduous forests at elevations up to 1,200 metres, occurring most commonly in secondary forest[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Semi-cultivated, Wild
Requires a sunny position, even when small[
]. Prefers well-drained soils.
A fast-growing species[
This species is often difficult to distinguish from Z. Gilletii[
]. It also resembles Z. Lemairei[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.
The bark is analgesic[
]. It is used to treat gonorrhoea, abscesses, painful joints and male sexual impotence[
Scrapings from the stem bark are applied externally to treat malaria, rheumatism and stiffness, and to soothe toothache[
A maceration of young twigs in lemon juice is used to treat heart complaints[
The tree is sometimes retained by farmers after clearing the forest for agricultural land, to serve as a shade tree for cultivation of crops such as coffee and cocoa[
A natural pioneer in its native range, it often regenerates abundantly in larger gaps in the forest and is commonly found in secondary forest[
The heartwood is pale yellow to greenish yellow; it is not clearly demarcated from the pale yellow, 1 - 2cm wide band of sapwood. The wood is lustrous; the grain usually interlocked, sometimes straight; the texture fine to moderately coarse; quartercut surfaces show a slight ribbon-like figure; freshly cut wood has a slight, pleasant scent. The wood is light in weight; soft; not very durable, being moderately resistant to fungal and termite attack but susceptible to Lyctus and marine borer attacks. It seasons normally, with only a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. The wood saws and works well with ordinary machine and hand tools; planing may cause some difficulties due to interlocked grain; moulding, polishing, gluing, painting and varnishing properties are all satisfactory; screwing and nailing properties are good, with the wood holding screws well, although nails are easy to draw. It produces good veneer by slicing and rotary cutting. The wood is suitable for light construction, light flooring, joinery, interior trim, moulding, shipbuilding, furniture, cabinet work, toys, novelties, boxes, crates, turnery, veneer, plywood, hardboard and particle board[
]. It is used locally for canoes, drums and beehives[
The wood is sometimes used for fuel[
Seed - sow in a nursery seedbed in a sunny or lightly shaded position. Germination usually takes place within 25 - 30 days of sowing the seed[
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