Obetia ficifolia heracleifolia Pers.
Obetia laciniata Baker
Obetia morifolia Baker
Obetia pinnatifida Baker
Urera radula Baker
Obetia radula is a sparsely branched shrub or tree that can grow 5 - 13 metres tall. The bole can be 20 - 50cm in diameter, with the main branching point occurring either near the base or at the top[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. The fibre is highly valued in Madagascar, where the plant is grown around houses and is also conserved when land is cleared for agriculture; it can be thus be found in villages and in hedges around fields[
Contact with the stinging hairs on the leaf causes intense itching[
Eastern tropical Africa - eastern DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Madagascar.
Rocky hill-sides in evergreen or semi-evergreen bushland (chiefly on hills of the basement complex, less commonly on basalt and lava); sometimes at rocky lake- and river sides; margins of dry forest[?]; at elevations from 500 - 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
|Cultivated, Semi-cultivated, Wild
This species is presumably dioecious, in which case both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
The plant is often used in traditional medicine in Africa[
An infusion of the root is used in the treatment of infertility in women. The boiled root is chewed as a remedy against premature ejaculation[
The root and leaf are used in the treatment of cough[
The leaf is crushed and the juice instilled in the nostrils for the treatment of madness. The leaf juice, or a leaf extract, is used as mouthwash for the treatment of toothache[
A decoction of unspecified plant parts is given as an antispasmodic in the case of whooping cough and asthma[
Compounds isolated from the stinging hairs and possibly contributing to the stinging effect include histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine[
A good quality, beautiful fibre is obtained from the stem bark. It is used for weaving, basketry and for making strong cordage and textiles. It can be made into high-quality paper for purposes such as making banknotes[
In Madagascar the fibre was formerly used to ignite fire[
The leaf is used in East Africa to deter rats and moles[
The wood is soft with much sap in it[
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