Marula

Sclerocarya birrea

  • Bark: patchy-mottled appearance
  • leaves: alternate compound, crowded at the end of branches
  • Fruit: Yellow when mature (Feb-June)
  • Tonga people celebrate feast of the first fruits by pouring a libation of fresh juice over the tombs of dead chiefs & branches feature in their funeral rites
  • Fruit has rich scent & has four times the Vitamin C that an orange has. It can be made into an alcoholic drink, jelly or jam which are very nutritious
  • Each fruit has a single stone with 2-3 seeds (nuts) containing oil rich protein. Nuts may be eaten either raw or cooked with porridge
  • Shangaan witch doctors regard the stones as medicine in their divining dice
  • Stones passing through elephants digestive systems may help to open the lids of the fruit therefore making digestion easier
  • Zulus crush and boil the nuts with water and, skimming off the oil which they massage into their skin
  • Bark is used for the treatment of dysentery & diarrhea. It is also believed to prevent malaria if gathered before the 1st flush of leaves & when taken as a tincture in brandy or powdered & swallowed in teaspoonful is an effective cure for fever
  • Venda give powdered bark to pregnant women to make certain that the child will be of the desired sex (a girl tree gives a girl child)
  • The larval stage of the African moon moth, Argema mimosae feeds off the marula
Overview

Overview

This Province is in the Savannah Biome, an area of mixed grassland and trees, which is generally...

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