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|DESCRIPTION: A spiny, much branched, evergreen, small tree, shrub or scrambler, up to 5 m in height, with a milky sap. Bark grey, smooth, young branchlets with or without hairs, spines simple, straight, 2-5 cm long, usually single. USE: The fruits are sweet, pleasant to eat and also made into jam. The tree is browsed by goats and camels. Wood is used as fuel. The roots, bark and leaves have medicinal properties. Roots contain an active ingredient, carissin, that may prove useful in the treatment of cancer. The tree is planted as an ornamental and the abundant branching habit and the presence of spines make the plant suitable for planting as a protective hedge. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. In southern Africa flowering occurs from September to December and fruiting from November to January. COMMON NAMES: Egyptian carissa. FURTHER INF: It is found in Arabia and reaches through Senegal to Cameroon and throughout the drier parts of tropical Africa to the Transvaal, Botswana and north and northeast Namibia. Also found across Asia to Indo-China. It is a tree of deciduous forest, coastal thickets, warm bush-land and scrub. It is often found growing on termite-mounds at elevations from 900 to 1300 m. In Uganda it is usually found in wooded grassland, especially in low-lying areas and also in thickets in woodlands, forest edges and secondary scrub. It prefers dryish conditions.
White F 1983 pp 98 121 129
Roecklein J 1987 pp 213 [USE]
Duke J 1975 pp 10 [PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Purseglove J 1974 pp 626 [USE]
ICRAF Agroforestree Database