A shrubby tree growing in lowlands and highlands, from open woodland to dune scrub (RSCU 1992).
Minimum Altitude (m):
Maximum Altitude (m):
Soil Requirements: Prefers well-drained soils, but is found on a variety of types.
Means of Propagation: Can be propagated from seed, wildlings, or cuttings.
Seeds per kg:
Seed Treatments: Not recommended. Produces slim long pods up to 60×3 cm in size. Pods are yellow-brown and velvety (Dale and Greenway 1961). Use and store fresh seeds.
Planting Types: Has good potential for agroforestry in the highlands and Miombo woodlands. It can be grown with crops on farmland, and inside and along farm boundaries.
Growth Factors: Fairly fast growing.
Growth Cycle: Produces fruit from January to September (Palgrave 1988).
Management Systems: M. obtusifolia coppices readily.
Use #1: MEDICINE
The root is boiled and used to treat backaches, body pains, and to relieve stomach gas. Uses that have been cited in the literature include: treatment for scrofula, hookworm and snakebites with root powder; chewing roots to treat convulsions in children; and boiled roots, bark and leaves used as an inhalant (Westman Draft). The leaves are also used to tell fortunes.
Use #2: GENERAL PURPOSE WOOD
The wood is whitish, heavy, and durable. It is used for furniture, poles, in the construction of local houses, and tool handles.
Use #3: FODDER
Both leaves and fruit are eaten by goats.