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CROTON MEGALOCARPUS*

DISTRIBUTION

Is a dominant upper canopy forest tree reaching heights of 40 m or more (Dale and Greenway 1961). It is widespread in the mountains of Arusha and Kilimanjaro.

Minimum Altitude (m):

1300

Maximum Altitude (m):

2200

REQUIREMENTS

Soil Requirements: Light, deep, and well-drained (Egli and Kalinganire 1988).

PROPAGATION

Means of Propagation: Direct sowing is recommended. Can also be propagated from seedlings and wildlings.

Seeds per kg:

1100

Germination Rate (%):

85

Germination Length:

25 days

Seed Sources:

700 TSH per kg - Silviculture Research Centre 1991/92.

Seed Treatments: Produces large seed in capsules with 3 lobes, about 2 to 3 cm in length and 3 cm in diameter. Teel (1984) reports that germination is quick and that no pretreatment is required.

Seedling Management: Seeds cannot be stored for long periods because of the high oil content. The germination rate falls dramatically if seeds are stored for more than 9 months (Egli and Kalinganire 1988).

SILVICULTURE

Planting Types: Near dwellings, in fields, and by swamps and watercourses. Egli and Kalinganire (1988) advise to avoid intercropping because of its dense shade. However it is frequently found in Kikuyu agroforestry plantings in Kenya. In some areas it is not planted close to houses due to cultural beliefs (ICRAF 1992).

Growth Factors: Fast growing on appropriate sites.

Management Systems: Tolerates lopping, pollarding and coppicing.

IMPORTANT USES

Use #1: MEDICINE
The leaves, roots, and bark are used to treat stomach problems and pneumonia. It has a high oil content (30%) and high protein content (50%). The oil extract is reported to be a forceful purgative (ICRAF 1992).

Use #2: LAND IMPROVEMENT
It makes a good live fence and the leaves are used for mulch and green manure.

Use #3: FIREWOOD
It is highly regarded as firewood but is not recommended for charcoal as the smoke stings the eyes.


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