Azanza garckeana

Botanical Name: Azanza garckeana

Common Name: Tree Hibiscus, Snot Apple, Chinga, Mukole, Muneko, Mkole

Plant Family: Malvaceae (Mallow Family) Sub-family: Malvoideae

Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution: Small semi-deciduous tree with a dense round crown found in wide range of habitats throughout Zambia, at altitudes up to 1700m including woodland, grassland, riverine vegetation and rocky places, and especially on termite mounds. 

Size: Height up to 10m, spread 3 to 6m.

Bark: Dark brown turning greyish brown or black later. Deeply vertically fissured and scaly.

Leaves: Simple, spirally arranged, 3-5 lobed (8 to 20cm) with 3-7 veins from the base of the leaf, with a longitudinal fissure on the midrib. Upper surface hairy. Petiole up to 13cm.

Flowers: Solitary and showy, yellow with a maroon base to each petal, aging to orange-red (up to 6cm), December to May.

Fruit: A round, woody, yellow and hairy capsule divided into 5 sections, August to September, but often longer on the tree, lobes splitting to show the edible, sweet brown flesh containing 15 to 30 pale brown seeds.

Uses: The wood has a sandalwood scent and turns well. Branches are used for bows and bow strings. The fruit are edible and can produce a jam or a drink. The seeds yield a non-drying oil used in cosmetics but contains toxic hydro-cyanic acid. The leaves and roots have medicinal properties.

Other Species in Zambia: None. A single species genus in Africa.