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Dalbergia melanoxylon (Phingo)

Known locally as Phingo. It is known in English as African Blackwood.


From the Useful Tropical Plants Database

It is a small, spiny, deciduous tree, which grows 5 to 7 m tall. This species is listed as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.

It is pollinated by bees and its flowers are a good source of nectar for honey bees. The fruits and foliage are browsed by game and livestock.

This plant is extremely slow growing but being an important medicinal tree to treat diarrhoea, headache, bronchitis and colds, rheumatism, prevent miscarriage, treat gonorrhoea, stomach ache and abdominal pain, to clean wounds, relieve pain in joints and to treat inflammation in mouth and throat it seems worth it.

Mature trees are fire tolerant and the timber is one of the most valuable timbers in Africa due to its hardness.

The leaves and pods provide good mulch and the roots of these trees may improve the soil by nitrogen fixation. They can be used to prevent soil erosion because of its extensive root system. Trees provide shelter and make useful windbreaks and live fences.


Pertinent features

  • indigenous
  • used medicinally
  • timber is one of the most valuable timbers in Africa due to its hardness
  • nitrogen fixation
  • Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List