Jackal Berry or Leopard Tree

Jackalsbessie – Diospyros mespiliformis

  • Edible fruit – stored as preserve or to make beer
  • Fearing possession by evil spirits, Northern Transvaal tribes will not eat the fruit when alone
  • The seeds are often found in jackal dung – 40% of jackal diet- also eaten by monkeys, baboons and fruit eating birds
  • Preparations are made to treat everything from coughs to dysentery to leprosy. There are definite pharmaceutical properties, as shown in lab tests
  • Favours silty soils near water courses and termite mounds
  • Also known as African ebony as is valued for carving