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Ozoroa insignis Delile

Protologue
Ann. Sci. Nat., sér. 2, 20: 91, t. 1, f. 3 (1843).
Family
Anacardiaceae
Chromosome number
2n = unknown
Synonyms
Heeria insignis (Delile) Kuntze (1891), Heeria reticulata (Baker f.) Engl. (1906), Ozoroa reticulata (Baker f.) R.Fern. & A.Fern. (1965).
Vernacular names
Tropical resin tree, currant resin tree (En). Mwalika, mzabibu mwitu (Sw).
Origin and geographic distribution
Ozoroa insignis is widespread throughout tropical sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal east to Eritrea and Yemen, and south to Namibia. It also occurs in South Africa and Swaziland.
Uses
The wood of Ozoroa insignis is used in carving and for poles, but is mainly used as firewood and to make charcoal. The charcoal is of very good quality and can even be used in making gunpowder. The fruits are occasionally eaten and are also ground up and used by Zulu women to scent their hair. In Kenya, a decoction of the root and bark is used to treat kidney and liver complaints, chest pain and diarrhoea, and in Zimbabwe to treat schistosomiasis. In several parts of Africa, roots and bark are used as a vermifuge. In Mali roots are used in the treatment of ulcers and hernias, leaves to treat otitis, colics and dysentery, muscle pains and fever, while decoctions of leafy branches are applied after childbirth and to treat hypertension. The bark is used in Sudan to treat throat infections. In Mali, tooth sticks made of the wood of Ozoroa insignis are considered an infallible talisman to attract women.
Properties
The wood of Ozoroa insignis is red in colour and hard, tough and durable, but easy to work. It is resistant to termites. Extracts of the bark and roots have been shown to be lethal to schistosomes which cause urinary schistosomiasis. The results from tests with hamsters infected with Schistosoma haematobium cercariae suggested that crude extracts of Ozoroa insignis administered orally are lethal to adult schistosomes. Screening of extracts in Zimbabwe revealed that root bark and leaves gave the best results against tapeworms. Air dried twigs collected in Kenya contained a bioactive compound, 6-pentadecylsalicylic acid, toxic to brine shrimp (Artemia salina) larvae.
Description
Dioecious, much-branched shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 15 m tall, with milky sap; bole cylindrical, sometimes tortuous, up to 50 cm in diameter; bark grey, corky, much fissured, slash reddish; branchlets puberulous to yellowish villous. Leaves alternate or in subverticils of 3, simple; stipules absent; petiole (1–)1.5–3(–5) cm long, subterete, slightly grooved above, densely villous to puberulous; lamina variable in shape, generally oblong to lanceolate or oblong-elliptical, (5.5–)7–22(–27.5) cm × 2–8.5 cm, coriaceous or subcoriaceous, base rounded or cuneate, apex obtuse or acute and mucronate, entire, lateral veins closely parallel, upper surface glabrous or puberulous to villous only on the veins, lower surface usually densely hairy. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary, much-branched panicle, up to 17 cm long; bracts subulate, 3–4(–10) mm long. Flowers unisexual, 5-merous; pedicel 1–1.5 mm long, articulated near apex; sepals ovate to ovate-triangular, 1.5–3.7 mm × 0.7–1.5 mm, acute, dorsally appressed-villous; petals oblong, 2–4 mm × 1–2 mm, whitish to yellowish, apex obtuse, flat, dorsally appressed pilose or villous; male flowers with 5 stamens having subulate filaments and linear-oblong to ovate, dorsifixed anthers, ovary vestigial; female flowers with superior, compressed-globose, unilocular ovary having 3 styles and capitate stigmas, staminodes small. Fruit a transversally ellipsoid, compressed drupe 6–8 mm × 8–11 mm, initially red, turning black and shiny.
Other botanical information
Ozoroa comprises about 40 species, most of which occur in southern Africa. The species are often difficult to distinguish from each other. Ozoroa insignis is in section Ozoroa, which comprises tree and shrub-like species with petioles longer than 5 mm, rather broad terminal panicles and petals which are flat or concave when fully developed. Ozoroa insignis is subdivided into 3 subspecies: subsp. insignis with narrow leaves covered beneath with appressed silvery hairs, occurring from West Africa to Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen; subsp. latifolia (Engl.) R.Fern. & A.Fern. with broader leaves covered beneath with appressed hairs, occurring in coastal areas from Senegal to Angola; and subsp. reticulata (Oliv.) J.B.Gillett with broader leaves covered beneath with short appressed as well as long spreading hairs, occurring from southern Sudan and Kenya to South Africa. Intermediates between the subspecies and also between Ozoroa insignis and Ozoroa obovata (Oliv.) R.Fern. & A.Fern. have been recorded from different regions. More taxonomic studies on the delimitation of Ozoroa insignis are needed.
Ecology
Ozoroa insignis occurs in wooded grassland and open forest, extending into drier forest and deciduous forest in areas of higher rainfall, often on scarps, denuded soils and rocky slopes. It occurs from sea level to 2200 m altitude.
Propagation and planting
Ozoroa insignis can be propagated by seed or root suckers. The weight of 1000 seeds is about 25 g. Germination is generally good and takes 3 weeks. Seed cannot be stored as it loses viability in a few weeks.
Harvesting
Ozoroa insignis can be coppiced, but information on regrowth is not available.
Genetic resources
The risk of genetic erosion is considered small given the common occurrence and very wide distribution of Ozoroa insignis.
Prospects
It is likely that the wood of Ozoroa insignis will continue to be used for fuel and charcoal production. However, there are no indications that it will become a component of forest plantations for fuel or timber.
Major references
• Arbonnier, M., 2000. Arbres, arbustes et lianes des zones sèches d’Afrique de l’Ouest. CIRAD, MNHN, UICN. 541 pp.
• Bein, E., Habte, B., Jaber, A., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1996. Useful trees and shrubs in Eritrea. Identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi, Kenya. 422 pp.
• Coates Palgrave, K., 1983. Trees of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa. 959 pp.
• Gilbert, M.G., 1989. Anacardiaceae. In: Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (Editors). Flora of Ethiopia. Volume 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. Addis Ababa and Asmara, Ethiopia, Uppsala, Sweden. (pp. 519–521).
• He WeiDong, van Puyvelde, L., Bosselaers, J., de Kimpe, N., van der Flaas, M., Roymans, A., Mathenge, S.G., Mudida, F.P. & Motiso, P.B.C., 2000. Bioactive principles from plants of Kenya. IV. Study on the antifouling activity of Ozoroa insignis Del. Mededelingen Faculteit Landbouwkundige en Toegepaste Biologische Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent 65(4): 29–33.
• Johns, T., Faubert, G.M., Kokwaro, J.O., Mahunnah, R.L.A. & Kimanani, E.K., 1995. Anti-giardial activity of gastrointestinal remedies of the Luo of East Africa. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 46: 17–23.
• Kokwaro, J.O., 1986. Anacardiaceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor), 1986. Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. (pp. 3–10).
• Molgaard, P., Nielsen, S.B., Rasmussen, D.E., Drummond, R.B., Makaza, N. & Andreassen, J., 2001. Anthelmintic screening of Zimbabwean plants traditionally used against schistosomiasis. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 74: 257–264.
• Ndamba, J., Nyazema, N., Makaza, N., Anderson, C. & Kaondera, K.C., 1994. Traditional herbal remedies used for the treatment of urinary schistosomiasis in Zimbabwe. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 42: 125–132.
• Palmer E. & Pitman, N., 1972. Trees of Southern Africa covering all known indigenous species in the Republic of South Africa, South-West Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. 3 volumes. Cape Town, South Africa. pp. 1209–1224.
Other references
• Ayedoun, M.A., Moudachirou, M., Garneau, F.X., Gagnon, H., Jean, F.I., Tomi, F. & Cassanova, J., 1998. Constituents of the leaf and flower oils of Heeria insignis Del. from Benin. Journal of Essential Oil Research 10: 529–539.
• Fernandes, R.B., 1966. Estudos nas Anacardiaceae Africanas. 1 - Contribuição para o conhecimento do género Ozoroa Del. Garcia de Orta, Revista da Junta de Investigações do Ultramar 14: 19–60.
• Ichikawa, N., undated. Ozoroa reticulata. In: Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, Internet database Aflora, http://jambo.africa.kyoto-u.ac.jp (January 2002).
• Kokwaro, J.O. & Gillett, J.B., 1980. Notes on the Anacardiaceae of Eastern Africa. Kew Bulletin 34: 745–760.
• Malgras, R.P.D., 1992. Arbres et arbustes guérisseurs des savanes maliennes. A.C.C.T, & Éditions Karthala, Paris, France. 478 pp.
• van der Veken, P., 1960. Anacardiaceae. In: Flore du Congo belge et de Ruanda-Urundi. Volume 9. (pp. 9–27).
Sources of illustration
• Gilbert, M.G., 1989. Anacardiaceae. In: Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (Editors). Flora of Ethiopia. Volume 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. Addis Ababa and Asmara, Ethiopia, Uppsala, Sweden. (pp. 519–521).
• Kokwaro, J.O., 1986. Anacardiaceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor), 1986. Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. (pp. 3–10).
Author(s)
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands


Editors
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands
Associate Editors
S.D. Davis
Centre for Economic Botany, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, United Kingdom
M. Chauvet
INRA Communication, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, Cedex 1, France
J.S. Siemonsma
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, the Netherlands
Illustrator
M.M. Spitteler
Het Hoge Stuk 19, 8413 KL Oosterwolde, the Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Oyen, L.P.A., 2002. Ozoroa insignis Delile. Record from Protabase. Oyen, L.P.A. & Lemmens, R.H.M.J. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Distribution Map Ozoroa insignis – wild


1, female flowering and fruiting branch; 2, female flower; 3, female flower with front sepals and petals removed; 4, male flower with front sepals and petals removed
Redrawn and adapted by M.M. Spitteler