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Found throughout the Tanzanian mainland in wooded grasslands, open woodland and thickets. It is particularly common in the woodlands of Babati and Singida (RSCU 1992). It grows naturally in a range of altitudes from 1000 to 2000 m above sea level, from semiarid areas to areas of higher rainfall. A. garckeana is often found on or near termite mounds in deserted village fields.

Minimum Altitude (m):


Maximum Altitude (m):


Minimum Rainfall (mm):


Maximum Rainfall (mm):


Minimum Temperature (C):


Maximum Temperature (C):



Soil Requirements: Seems to prefer light yellow-brown to reddish-yellow gritty, sandy clay loams and often on black to dark grey clays and brown clays (FAO 1983).

Light Requirements: Strongly demanding.


Means of Propagation: Direct sowing, seedlings, root suckers, coppicing.

Seeds per kg:


Seed Treatments: The fruit is a green, hard round capsule about 5 cm in size with an outer rind and glutinous inner flesh with brown seeds. The fruits ripen on the tree and must be picked off as they do not fall (Tredgold 1986). Pretreatment is reported not necessary by one author (RSCU 1992), although others report that seeds need scarification in order to germinate (Palmer and Pitman 1972).

Seedling Management: Naturally regenerates and germinates readily. It appears that it could be easily raised in the nursery and planted. However, natural regeneration may be better than seedlings (RSCU 1992).


Planting Types: Palmer and Pitman note that in the wild the tree suckers very freely and may be unsuitable for a small garden. There is likely to be no adverse effects on crops due to a less extensive root system and a relatively small canopy.

Growth Factors: Fairly fast growing.

Growth Cycle: Flowers in wet season and fruits in dry season (April through August) (FAO 1983). Fruits are edible from September.

Limitations to Planting: Host to cotton stainer beetles and other bugs and is not grown in cotton producing areas (Palmer and Pitman 1972).

Management Systems: Site should be partially cleared before planting and intensive weeding is needed for the first few years (FAO 1983). Young plants should be protected from fire. Partial protection of woodlands would likely help the natural regeneration of this species. It is able to tolerate pollarding and coppices well.


Use #1: FRUIT
The whole fruit except the seeds is chewed like gum, producing a sweet glutinous slime. The fruit is also used as a syrup and soup.

The sap wood is yellow and the heart wood is a deep brown. It is easily worked but generally only suitable for small building needs, tool handles, oxen yokes, and domestic items such as spoons.

The leaves of A. garckeana have many uses including green manure and mulch. The leaves also provide an often used fodder.

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