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Salvadora persica

Common namestooth brush tree, toothbrush tree, kikuel tree, mustard tree, salt bush, adai, salvadora, aarak, arrak, arraka, el rak, kabats, shau, siwak, arbre a cure-dents, arbre a frotte-dents, mswaki, dadaho, adz, imu-garreh
Ecocrop code9506

DESCRIPTION: It is an evergreen shrub or small tree reaching 6-7 m in height. Leaves oblong-elliptic to almost circular, 3 x 7 cm, light to dark green, rather fleshy. Fruit spherical, fleshy, 5-10 mm in diameter, pink to scarlet when mature, single seeded. USE: The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and stored, leaves and young shoots are browsed by all stock and the flowers are a source of honey. The wood is used as firewood and charcoal. The seed contains a non edible oil that is an alternative source of oil for soap and detergent industries. Toothbrushes are made from roots and small branches. A decoction of the root is used to treat gonorrhoea, spleen trouble and general stomach-ache. Roots are also used for chest diseases or pounded and used as a poultice to heal boils. The bark is scratched and the latex used for treating sores. Seeds are used as a tonic, and seed oil is used on the skin for rheumatism. The tree is planted for shelter, as a windbreak and planted for sand dune reclamation and is also useful for reclaiming saline soils. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Toothbrush tree. FURTHER INF: It is widespread, notably in thorn shrubs, desert floodplains, river and stream bank vegetation, and grassy savannahs. Prefers areas where groundwater is readily available, by riverbanks, on perimeters of waterholes, in seasonally wet sites, and along drainage lines in arid zones. Also found in valleys, on dunes and on termite mounds. The tree is able to tolerate a very dry environment with mean annual rainfall of less than 200 mm. Highly salt tolerant, it can grow on coastal regions and inland saline soils. Prefers clays but is found on loam, black soils and sand. Adapted to alkaline or very saline soils, usually clay-rich, and soils without salt.
SOURCE: ICRAF Agroforestree Database (04.07.02) E9506