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XIMENIA AMERICANA

DISTRIBUTION

A mostly solitary tree dispersed in open country, savannahs, gallery forests, along coastal areas, in the understorey of dry forests, in dry woodlands, or on riverbanks. In Tanzania it is more abundant in bushland and semiarid zones. X. americana is found in Arusha, Tabora, Dodoma, Morogoro, Coast, and Iringa (FAO 1983).

Minimum Altitude (m):

0

Maximum Altitude (m):

2000

Minimum-Rainfall (mm):

300

Maximum Rainfall (mm):

1250

Minimum Temperature (C):

14

Maximum Temperature (C):

30

REQUIREMENTS

Soil Requirements: Found on many kinds of soils, often poor and dry, including clays, clay loams, loamy sands, sandy clay loams and sands (FAO 1986).

PROPAGATION

Means of Propagation: Propagated from seed and cuttings. Vegetative propagation is probably possible (don Maydell 1986). The tree regenerates naturally from seed and coppice.

Seeds per kg:

1400

Seed Treatments: Oval fruits are about 3 cm long and contain 1 seed each. Fruits are yellow or red, thin skinned, and plum-like and must be picked from the tree as they perish quickly. Pretreatment of the seed is not necessary. Fresh seed should be sown for good germination. The seed can be stored for long periods.

Seedling Management: There is little experience with raising seedlings and outplanting them, but it appears highly possible. Germination is satisfactory.

SILVICULTURE

Planting Types: X. americana is useful in arid and semiarid areas.

Growth Cycle: On good sites trees produce fruit in and after year 3. It flowers and fruits throughout the year, independent of climatic regimes (FAO 1983). Seeds are collected in July and August at the coast (RSCU 1992).

Limitations to Planting: Seedlings appear to be susceptible to drought and fire.

Management Systems: Regeneration in natural forests is very sparse, so partial protection of its natural habitat could promote natural regeneration.

IMPORTANT USES

Use #1: FRUIT
The fruit is thirst quenching. It is used as a drink and in making jams and jellies. It was reported that the Sandawe rely on the fruit as a staple.

Use #2: MEDICINE
The bark, fruit, and leaves have many uses in local medicine for people and animals. Leaves and twigs are used for fever, colds, and as a laxative and eye lotion. Leaves are used for headaches (especially in children), angina, and as a poison antidote. Roots are used for skin problems, headaches, venereal disease, sleeping sickness, oedema, and as a poison antidote.

The fruit is useful in habitual constipation and the bark is used for febrile headaches, in bath water for sick children, for kidney and heart complaints, and can be applied to skin ulcers. A decoction of roots or fruits is used to treat dysentery in calves.

Use #3: FIREWOOD
Firewood is the principle use of the wood, mainly because the trunk is rather small. The wood is very hard and dense (0.89 to 0.91 gr per cm3) (FAO 1986).


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