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Useful Tropical Plants

Margaritaria discoidea

(Baill.) G.L.Webster

Phyllanthaceae

+ Synonyms

Cicca discoidea Baill.

Diasperus discoideus (Baill.) Kuntze

Flueggea fagifolia Pax

Phyllanthus discoideus (Baill.) Müll.Arg.

Common Name:

Margaritaria discoidea
Leaves
Photograph by: Purves, M.
GNU Free Documentation License
Margaritaria discoidea Margaritaria discoidea Margaritaria discoidea Margaritaria discoidea Margaritaria discoidea

General Information

Margaritaria discoidea is a deciduous shrub or tree with a spreading crown; usually growing up to 20 metres tall but with some specimens exceeding 30 metres. The bole is unbuttressed and can be 30cm in diameter[
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/
,
726
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1979
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
A botanical journal containing various articles, including a review of the genus Margaritaria. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild, mainly for local use as a medicine and source of wood. With its spreading crown, it is grown in villages as a shade tree[
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/
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

726
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1979
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
A botanical journal containing various articles, including a review of the genus Margaritaria. It can be downloaded from the internet.

Range

Africa - Senegal to Ethiopia, south to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and northeastern S. Africa.

Habitat

Damper sites of the savannah and closed secondary forests[
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/
]. Deciduous woodland, fringing forest, dry evergreen forest, rainforest, and disturbed vegetation at elevations from near sea level to over 2,000 metres[
725
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 77
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; Missouri.
Year
1990
ISBN
0026-6493
Description
A botanical journal containing various articles, including a monograph of the tropical African species of Lapeirousia. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height20.00 m
PollinatorsBees, Ants
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

In Tanzania the plant can be found at an elevation of 1,850 metres where the mean annual rainfall is around 850mm and the mean monthly temperature ranges from 17.5°c in January to 13.5°c in June with occasional frosts[
725
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 77
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; Missouri.
Year
1990
ISBN
0026-6493
Description
A botanical journal containing various articles, including a monograph of the tropical African species of Lapeirousia. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

The flowers are fragrant and are much visited by bees and other insects[
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 dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Edible Uses

The fruit is edible[
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 blue, subglobose fruit is up to 13mm wide, containing a single large seed[
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 fruit is a green capsule containing 4 seeds, each of which is covered by a thin layer of flesh[
726
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 60
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1979
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
A botanical journal containing various articles, including a review of the genus Margaritaria. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

The wood-ash yields a vegetable salt[
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 young leaves have occasionally been eaten[
617
Title
Traditional Vegetables in Benin
Publication
 
Author
Achigan-Dako E. Et al
Publisher
Darwin Initiative; International Foundation for Science
Year
2009
ISBN
 
Description
Issued as a PDF on the Internet, it contains basic information on over 250 species of plants used for food in Benin.
].

Medicinal

The bark is anodyne, anthelmintic and purgative[
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 decoction is used for the relief of post-partum pains[
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 bark decoction is used to relieve stomach and kidney complaints and to facilitate parturition[
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/
]. Treatment with a bark decoction is said to bring about a more or less prolonged arrest of the menstrual cycle, though conversely it is said to be taken to relieve amenorrhoea[
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 dried and powdered bark is rubbed on the body in the treatment of febrile conditions[
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 bark preparation is rubbed into scarifications in the skin as a stimulant and tonic[
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 bark is used for relieving toothache[
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/
]. Bark ash, combined with local salt and palm-oil, is a topical embrocation for lumbar pain - at the moment of application it produces a burning sensation but then brings relief[
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 powdered bark extract is applied to swellings and inflammation[
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 roots are aphrodisiac, purgative and stimulant[
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/
]. They are used as chew-sticks, and in this manner also to be aphrodisiac. They are used in the treatment of stomach ache and are commonly applied for treatment of internal troubles, stomach ache, and heart pains[
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/
]. Root decoctions are also used as a treatment for schistosomiasis, gonorrhoea and hard abscesses, and, with the leaf-sap added, for malaria[
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 leaf-decoction is taken fin the treatment of blennorrhoea and for poisoning[
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/
].
An eye-wash is prepared from a leaf decoction[
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 leaves are said to cure earache, and to be able to stanch wounds. Leaf and twig poultices are applied to ulcers caused by jiggers, and to furuncles and abscesses to hasten maturation. A wash of the decocted leaves is a stimulant in case of general fatigue[
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/
].

Many alkaloids have been isolated from this plant, and of them phylochrysine and securinine are the most important. The former is a central nervous system stimulant which may account in part for the plant's stimulatory properties[
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/
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is one of the known hosts of the fungus Armillaria heimii, which is the causative fungus of collar-crack disease of cacao. Therefore its presence on cacao plantations as a shade-bearer may not be desirable[
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/
].

Other Uses

Both the young stems and the roots are used as chew-sticks for cleaning the teeth, strengthening the gums and maintaining oral hygiene[
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 bark yields about 10% tannin[
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 bark is stringy and fibrous[
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/
]. This report does not say that the bark can be used as a source of fibre[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

The heartwood is pinkish-white to brownish-red, the sapwood is yellowish. The wood is hard, heavy, of medium texture, not difficult to work[
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/
]. It is not resistant to insects and decay. It can be sawn into planks and used for ordinary building purposes, and is suitable for cabinetry, finishing smoothly and taking a fine polish. It is cut for roof-shingles and is used for boatbuilding as the wood is said to bend ideally after steaming for shaping ribs[
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/
].
It is a good firewood, and charcoal is made of it[
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/
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-05-28. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Margaritaria+discoidea>

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