Scientific Name: Diospyros mespiliformis
Common names: African Ebony, Jackal Berry.
Description: The Jackal Berry is one of the largest and most majestic berry-bearing trees found in Africa, and one of the often seen trees in the northern Namibia (Mahango) and Botswana (Okavango Delta and Chobe) sub-tropical regions, and generally common to river and water-rich areas.
The stem generally forked in two, and reach up to 1,5 meters in diameter and could reach up to 25 m in height. The heart-wood is dark, and not as black as "real" Ebony.
The leaves are shiny dark green and about 8 x 2.5
cm in size. From December to January the tree have creamy-white flowers near
the end of the branches.
Medical uses: The roots, leaves and fruits contain tannin and act as an
antibiotic, and are used for traditional
medicinal purposes treating various disorders such as skin eruptions, acne
Superstition uses: None recorded.
Nutritive uses: People, animals and birds eat the ripe yellow-green berries. animals.
The berries is about 2cm in diameter, green at first, and become yellow when
Other uses: Boiled bark yields a black dye.
Interesting Facts: Till a few years ago, large Jackal Berry trees was traditionally used to make wooden canoes (Okavango makoro). In Botswana this was stopped with the introduction of fibre-glass canoes, developed by an conservationist from the Guma Lagoon region.
Credits: Christian Fouri.