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COMMIPHORA AFRICANA

DISTRIBUTION

Found on dry sites throughout Africa. In Tanzania it grows in open savannah on rocky sites with minimal rainfall (RSCU 1992). It is reported to tolerate a wide range of sites, including hot, rocky river beds, wooded ravines, rocky ridges, lowland forests, and savannahs. It is found in Morogoro, Rukwa, Arusha, Selous Game Reserve, Shinyanga, Mikumi National Park and Tanga (Rulangaranga 1989).

Minimum Altitude (m):

0

Maximum Altitude (m):

1600

Minimum Rainfall (mm):

300

Maximum Rainfall (mm):

800

REQUIREMENTS

Soil Requirements: Grows on a wide range of soils including red dolerite, sand, rocky escarpments, boulders, clays, and lateritic crusts. It appears to grow best on calcareous soils and sands (don Maydell 1986).

Influential Factors: Fire and fairly termite resistant.

PROPAGATION

Means of Propagation: Stakes, large cuttings, or seeds. It is easy to propagate with cuttings.

Seeds pet kg:

8000

Seed Sources:

1000 TSH per kg - Tanzania National Seed Centre 1991.

Seed Treatments: C. africana produces a pink-red fruit with stony seed inside. No treatment is recommended.

SILVICULTURE

Planting Types: Recommended for live fences and hedges in dry areas. Does not compete with crops.

Growth Factors: Slow growing.

Growth Cycle: Comes into leaf at the beginning of the dry season (don Maydell 1986).

Management Systems: Tolerates lopping.

IMPORTANT USES

Use #1: MEDICINE
Fruits are used for the treatment of typhoid fever and as a remedy for stomach problems (Rulangaranga 1989). The powdered bark is mixed with porridge to cure malaria. The resin also has medicinal uses including sealing and disinfecting wounds. It is applied as a plaster and used for spasms. The fumes of burnt resin are used as an insecticide (Westman Draft) and an aphrodisiac.

Use #2: FODDER
The leaves are browsed by goats, especially at the end of the dry season when young leaves appear. The nutritive value of the leaves is about 8 to 14% crude protein (don Maydell 1986).

Use #3: GENERAL PURPOSE WOOD
The wood has a reputation of being termite resistant, though soft. It is used in the construction of local houses, tool handles, beehives, spoons, water troughs, and for musical instruments.

OTHER USES: Roots, leaves, and fruits are edible. An edible oil is also extracted. Dried sap and bark are used as incense.


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