Schrebera trichoclada

Botanical Name: Schrebera trichoclada

Common Name: Wooden Pear Tree, Kapanda, Mutwanakabaya, Kaoki, Katobwangu, Kampelembenda, Mulyambesu

Plant Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family)       

Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution: A semi-deciduous shrub or small tree, branches trending upwards and then laterally, often drooping at the ends. Occurring occasionally across Zambia, mainly on sandy and rocky soils, most commonly in Munga and Kalahari woodland and more occasionally in Miombo and Chipya woodland. Schrebera alata occurs as a tall tree, mainly in northern Zambia in evergreen forest with imparipinnate leaves and a narrower fruit.

Size: Height up to 10m, usually smaller, spread 5 to 9m.

Bark: Grey, or creamy-brown with numerous white lenticels, becoming scaly on the lower stem, flaking in circular patches with age.

Leaves: Simple, opposite, leathery, elliptic to ovate, usually 3 to 8cm, dull green above, paler below and sometimes hairy, the base and the apex both slightly tapering. Petiole 1 to 1.5cm.

Flowers: Small, sweet-scented, pale yellow-green, or creamy petals with a purple-brown centre, on axial or terminal stalks, September to January.

Fruit: Distinctively, pear-shaped, smooth, woody brown capsule with pale warts (4 to 6cm), splitting into two halves and shedding 4 winged seeds, April to July.

Uses: The leaves are eaten by several wild herbivores and the leaves and roots have medicinal properties.