Exotic quickstick tree
Scientific name: Gliricidia sepium,
Gliricidia sepium grows to a height of 2-15m, has a medium crown and may be single or multi-stemmed. The bark color is variable but is mainly greyish-brown, and it can be much fissured. The tree has deep roots when mature. The lower surface can also be smooth and hairless or bristly but commonly has purplish tanniniferous patches concentrated toward the center of the lamina.
Crude extracts have been shown to have antifungal activity. Reported to be expectorant, sedative and suppurative. Used to make a remedy for boils, bruises, burns, colds, cough, debility, eruptions, erysipelas, fever, fractures, gangrene, headache, itch, prickly heat, rheumatism, skin tumors, ulcers, urticarial and wounds.
Attributes contributing to its value as a shade tree include its fine, feathery foliage giving light shade, and the ability to withstand repeated pruning. Gliricidia sepium has been planted to reclaim stripped land. As a green manure, it increases soil organic matter; it helps in recycling of soil nutrients as it produces much litter. It also improves soil aeration and reduces soil temperature. It is a drought-resistant and valuable water-conserving species, because in the dry season it sheds most of its leaves, hence reducing water loss through transpiration. The flowers attract honeybees; hence it is an important species for honey production.
The tree is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen.
Often used for firewood and charcoal production. The wood burns slowly without sparking and with little smoke, so it is an important fuelwood in the sub-humid tropics. Gliricidia sepium has light brown sapwood and dark brown heartwood, turning reddish-brown on exposure to air. It is hard, coarse textured with an irregular grain, very durable and termite resistant. Wood is utilized for railway sleepers, farm implements, furniture, house construction and as mother posts in live-fence establishment.
Gliricidia sepium is used for goat fodder.