Widely distributed in upland forest, open grassland, riverine, and rocky areas. It is also found in savannahs.
Minimum Altitude (m):
Maximum Altitude (m):
Minimum Rainfall (mm):
Soil Requirements: Occurs on a wide variety of soils, but prefers light, deep, and well-drained soils with neutral reaction to acid (Egli and Kalinganire 1988).
Influential Factors: Needs to be protected from browsing animals when young. F. thonningii is not planted near buildings as the roots may crack foundations (RSCU 1992).
Means of Propagation: Propagated by cuttings and seeds dispersed by birds and animals.
Seedling Management: It is more effective to use cuttings rather than to raise plants from seed. Propagate by cuttings 20 to 50 cm at the start of the rainy season. Rerooting is good although sometimes slow. In Uganda the tree is propagated by stakes (Dale and Greenway 1961).
Planting Types: Usually left standing in cropland and along property boundaries and roads. It can be planted as a shade tree (Sommerlatte 1990).
Growth Factors: Fast growing.
Growth Cycle: Fruiting trees sometimes shed their leaves.
Management Systems: Tolerates lopping and pollarding.
Use #1: LAND IMPROVEMENT
It is planted as a live fence with the intention of using the leaves as mulch or green manure, for producing shade or for fodder. It is also highly regarded for its ability to store water and conserve soil.
Use #2: MEDICINE
The bark is quite important in local medicine as it can be used to treat colds, sore throats, diarrhoea, wounds, and to stimulate lactation.
Use #3: FIBRE
Bark cloth is obtained by cutting out a strip or cylinder of bark which causes the tree to produce a fine matted covering of red, slender roots over the wound. This covering is used as bark cloth.
OTHER USES: The tree is used for ceremonial and sacred purposes.
The wood is light (495 kg per m3), easy to work, but not durable.