Peucedanum araliaceum (Hochst.) Hiern
Peucedanum fraxinifolium Hiern ex Oliv.
Common Name: Carrot Tree
Lower part of a flowering tree
Photograph by: bathyporeia
Carrot tree is a small, aromatic, deciduous tree growing 2 - 7 metres tall[
]. When crushed, the leaves have a carrot-like aroma.
The tree is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use and various commodities. It is used in soil conservation schemes, is sometimes grown as a hedge and, because of its medicinal uses, is sometimes left standing in fields when the forest is cleared[
]. A very ornamental tree, it often flowers and fruits when leafless. It makes a good garden plant because of its adaptability[
Tropical Africa - widespread from western Africa to Ethiopia and south to northern S. Africa.
Woodland and rocky outcrops, mainly at lower elevations but found up to 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild
A plant of the dry to moist tropics, where it is found at elevations from near sea level to over 1,800 metres.
An exceptionally drought-resistant plant, but it can also be grown in areas of high rainfall so long as the soil is very well drained.
The stem bark contains a number of dibenzocyclo-octadiene lignans[
]. These have displayed cytotoxic (antimitotic) activity in a manner similar to colchicine on 11 human tumour cell lines[
]. The lignans steganangin (the most abundant analogue), steganacin and steganolide A were most abundant[
Saponins isolated from the leaves have shown antileukaemic activity[
An infusion of the plant is strongly emetic[
The roots are used in treating snake bites and painful chest conditions[
The bark is chewed as a treatment for fever, and is used in preparing a medication for a heart complication[
]. A decoction, prepared by boiling the bark for one hour, is added to milk and administered orally to adults as a remedy for stomach ache and dysentery[
The roots and the bark are used to cure sore throat[
The leaves are rubbed on wounds as a general disinfectant[
The plant is sometimes grown as a hedge[
It is considered to be an important species for use in soil conservation projects[
The leaf litter enriches the surrounding soil[
The tree casts a light shade and is often intercropped with banana, cacao, coffee etc[
An essential oil is obtained from the leaves[
] The major components of the oil are limonene + beta-phellandrene, alpha-pinene, sabinene, beta-caryophyllene and cryptone[
The odorous leaves are used for scenting garments[
The tree trunk is reported to have snake deterring activity[
The twigs are used in dental care as toothbrushes[
The white wood is soft and brittle[
]. It is used in making farm tool handles and implements[
Tree parts are used as fuel wood[
Seed - small and difficult to collect, usually small seedlings are collected from the wild[
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