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Related article: and flaking in small or large scales; slash orange Order Aldactone pink with green edges, fibrous, exuding
a nearly colourless gum. Leaves alternate, tufted at the ends of the branchlets, compound,
stipules absent; rachis 15-30cm long; leaflets opposite or subopposite, 5-10 pairs with
an odd terminal leaflet, elliptic to obovate, 2-5cm long, 1-2. Order Aldactone 5cm wide, apex more or less
rounded but with a very short, sharp tip, base cuneate, margins usually entire, dentate on
young and coppice regrowth, glaucous, pale green, venation obscure, Order Aldactone subsessile.
Inflorescence a spike-like raceme, up to 10cm long; flowers precocious, appearing before
the leaves, dioecious, greenish-white or reddish; subtending bracts reddish, broadly
ovate, conspicuous at first. Male spike erect, terminal, 5-8cm long; stamens 12 or more.
Female flowers 2 or 3 together, pedicels stout, 2-2. 5cm long, sepals purple-red, free;
petals recurved, green with purple-red tips. Fruit a pale yellow drupe, subglobose, 3-4cm
long, 2. 5-3. 5cm in diameter; seeds 2-3, obclavate, compressed, testa brownish, papyraceous.
Flowc-is appear before the leaves late in the dry season.
4. ESTABLISHED MODERN PHARMACEUTICAL USES
None known so far.
5. FOLK MEDICINAL USES
The plant can be used to regulate glycaemia and it improves carbohydrate consumption
at muscle level. A decoction of the leaves or bark is used in the treatment of sugar
diabetes; decoctions of leaves, bark and roots counter snake-bite; infusions of bark
are used to wash infants in cases of malaria or inflammation; mixed with soda it is used
to alleviate dysentery (Von May dell, 1983).
6. MAJOR CHEMICAL CONSITUTENTS AND MEDICINAL PRODUCTS
The parts roost used are the leaves and the bark, in particular the bark of the
roots* The leaves and the bark contain catechic and gallic tannins and flavonoids.
The pulp and kernels of the fruit contain glucides, amino-acids (glutamic and
arginine acid), and lipids (oleic, myristic and stearic acid).
7. HARVESTING, CONSERVING AND PREPARATION
Harvesting is mainly from May to December. After harvesting, the leaves should
be dried in the shade in a well-ventilated place, at a temperature not above 40 C.
Leaf powder should be conserved away from light, in hermetically sealed containers.
It is inadvisable to use powder which has been conserved for more than one year.
The bark is not very thick and its epidermis is easily detached.
8. ECONOMICS AND MARKETING
Products collected and marketed locally.
400 seeds per kg, soak the seeds overnight before sowing. Propagation possible Order Aldactone by
seed, cuttings or root-cuttings.
10. MAJOR DISEASES
11. OTHER USES
The pulp of the Order Aldactone fruit which has an agreeable acid taste is edible and can be used to
make an intoxicating drink. The fruit and kernels of the seeds are oily and edible yielding
601 of oil per ton of fruit. Wood soft, non-durable, easy to carve, turn and work. Order Aldactone When
large enough the wood from the trunk is used for mortars, pestles and bowls. The shoots,
though mildly toxic, are collected as cattle feed in the dry season (Von Maydell, 1983).
Irvine, F.R. Woody Plants of Ghana with special references to their
(1961) uses; Oxford University Press.
Von Maydell, H.J. Arbres et arbustes du Sahel. Leurs caractristiques et
(1983) leurs utilisations. G.T.Z., Eschborn.
Dale, I.R. and Greenway, P.J. "Kenya trees and shrubs* 1 Government of Kenya and
(1961) Hatchards. 187 Piccadilly, London W.I.
- 193 -
PLATE XXX. Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst .
M-Icrorttryn birrea (\. Rich.) Hochst. (Anneai'dmt-eaf).
. .luin-j venation, fl, 1ml. il. C 1 , (lower. D, crow- tcction of ovary. i:, fruit.
Plate XXX. Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.
A. leaflet showing venation B. habit C. flower
D. cross section of ovary E. fruit
(After Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody Plants of Ghana)
MAP 30 - Geographic distribution of Scerocarya birrea
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