Prunus africana (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

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Prosopis juliflora
Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Prunus africana (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)
Prunus persica

Prunus africana (Pygeum africanum) Rosaceae Indigenous

Common names

  • English: Red stinkwood
  • Amargna: Tikur inchet
  • Gimirigna: Beru
  • Haderigna: Arara
  • Oromugna: Bouraio, Buraya, Homi, Mukoraja
  • Sidamigna: Mrchiko
  • Wolaytgna: Garba, Onsa


A useful timber tree widespread from West to South Africa, usually in high-rainfall areas, but it is becoming rare in some places due to over-exploitation. In Ethiopia it grows in montane and riverine forests of Harerge (especially Dindin Forest), Ilubabor, Kefa, Arsi, Bale, Wolega, Sidamo, Gonder, Gojam and Shoa. Usually it occurs in high-rainfall areas in Moist and Wet Weyna Dega and Dega agroclimatic zones, 1,700-2,500 m.


Firewood, charcoal, timber (construction), poles, utensils (mortars), medicine (bark, leaf), bee forage, shade, mulch, windbreak.


An evergreen tree to 40 m. In forests, the high foliage is open, the branches often pendulous, but in grassland the tree is more rounded and compact.

  • BARK: Rough, dark, scaling irregularly, branches corky, branchlets dotted with breathing pores.
  • LEAVES: Leathery, glossy dark green above, oval to 10 cm, margin with shallow rounded teeth, leaf stalk typically pink, to 2 cm. Crushed leaves have a bitter almond smell.
  • FLOWERS: Sprays on stalks about 8 cm long, very small, fragrant, green‑white.
  • FRUIT: Rounded about 1 cm, dark red, often bilobed, containing one seed.


Seedlings, wildings.


3,400–6,000 seed per kg.

  • Treatment: The fleshy parts should be removed from the seed.
  • Storage: Seed does not store well therefore fresh seed should be used.


Fairly slow growing. It is high potential industrial species that can be managed commercially.


The heartwood darkens to a dense red. The tree bark is an important source of raw material for the pharmaceutical industry. It occurs abundantly in Ethiopia in areas such as Dimdir Arbagugu and the Omo-Gibe river basin.