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Found in a variety of climates and soils. Grows naturally in Brachystegia and Combretum woodland, wooded grassland, and bushland. It is found throughout Tanzania in coastal and inland areas, but it is never common (FAO 1983). F. indica is found in Iringa, Morogoro, Tabora, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Dodoma, and the Coast.

Minimum Altitude (m):


Maximum Altitude (m):


Minimum Rainfall (mm):


Maximum Rainfall (mm):


Minimum Temperature (C):


Maximum Temperature (C):



Soil Requirements: Tolerates a variety of well-drained soils. It prefers mostly sandy soils near watercourses and red clay soils (FAO 1983).

Light Requirements: Strongly demanding.

Influential Factors: Prefers a high water table and a lot of sunlight (RSCU 1992). Young plants need to be protected against fire (FAO 1983).


Means of Propagation: Coppice and from seed (natural and artificial regeneration).

Seed Treatments: Fruit is a small, red, fleshy, round berry. It turns a dark reddish-black when mature, and contains 4 to 10 brown, flattened, wrinkled seeds (Palmer and Pitman 1972). Cracking or scarifying the hard seed coat may improve germination.

Seedling Management: Can be propagated from seed but little is known about germination techniques.


Planting Types: Grown in fields and near home compounds.

Growth Factors: Moderate growth.

Growth Cycle: Flowering and fruiting occur at various times depending on the locality. Fruit ripening occurs between December and July (FAO 1983). It takes about 5 to 8 months from flower fertilization to fruit ripening.

Limitations to Planting: The hard seed coat may restrict natural regeneration and result in slow germination.

Management Systems: Partially clear site of vegetation since it is a light demander. Slash and spot weed the young crop (FAO 1983). Protection from fire is needed.


Use #1: FRUIT
The flavour of the fruit tends to vary and while some varieties are sweet enough to be eaten raw, others are eaten only after cooking. Fruits are sold in the market and there is a high potential for processing into jams.

The tree has many uses in local medicine. The fruits are used for jaundice and enlarged spleens. The leaves and roots are taken for schistosomiasis, malaria, and diarrhoea The roots are Used for hoarseness, pneumonia, intestinal worms and as an astringent, diuretic, and pain reliever.

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