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Natal mahogany

Trichillia emetica

Rooiessenhout (Afr.)

Trichilia emetica is an evergreen medium-to-large tree, with separate male and female plants. It has a dense, spreading crown. The pinkish to light brown wood is the most important source of timber for the rural carving industry in southern Africa. It is used for traditional carvings, musical instruments, furniture, boats and canoes. In Maputaland several traditional items are carved including bowls (iziMbenge ), dishes for meat (uGqoko), spoons (iziNkhezo ) and head rests (iziGqiki).

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Fruiting time
Summer, Spring

Harvesting

Seeds are harvested when ripe, as the capsule splits open.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds when fresh into pots with well draining potting mix.
Cuttings
Soft or hard wood cuttings can be taken, using rooting hormone to stimulate root growth.

Special features

Attracts birds
Sunbirds that feed on the flower nectar and other birds feed on the seeds.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts bees
Pot plant
They add lovely green to office space and indoors!

Geography

Origin
Africa, eastern Africa, eastern South Africa, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and northwards throughout the rest of Africa.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
The bark, roots, leaves and fruit can all be used to treat various ailments.
Edible
The seeds are soaked in water and the milky soup is eaten with spinach. Seed arils are soaked and cooked together with sweet potatoes or squash.

Personality

Family
Meliaceae
Flower colour
Creamy green
Scent
Strong

Problems

Generally problem free

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