|DESCRIPTION: It is an evergreen or deciduous shrub or small, spreading tree reaching 3-13 m in height, with a diameter at breast height of up to 25 cm. The bark is rough, greyish-black, fibrous, with longitudinal fissures and brown to yellow slash, young branchlets stellate-tomentose, becoming glabrescent when mature. Leaves alternate, palmate with 3-5 lobes, up to 20 x 20 cm. USE: Ripe fruit carpels are edible, it may be eaten raw if gathered green and juicy and the rind is peeled off. Boiled, it is widely used as a relish or made into porridge. The leaves make a relish or can be burned to produce salts. It is browsed by game and in the dry season by cattle. It provides firewood and fibre. A decoction is made from the roots and taken orally for painful menstruation and to treat coughs and chest pains. An infusion made from the roots and leaves is dropped into the ear to treat earache or taken orally as an antiemetic. The tree can be planted for shade and as an ornamental. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. Flowering takes place during the rainy season, fruit ripening occurs during the dry season. It takes about 6 months from flower fertilization to fruit ripening. COMMON NAMES: snotappel (Afrikaans), African chewing gum, snot apple (English). FURTHER INF: It can adapt to various climatic conditions and soil types. It grows naturally in wooded grasslands, open woodlands and thickets. It is widespread in tropical eastern and southern Africa. It is drought resistant but thrives with abundant water during the rainy season. It can withstand mild frost. It prefers light yellow-brown to reddish-yellow gritty, sandy clay loams, but is often found on black to dark grey and brown clays.