Julbernadia Seedling

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Scientific Name: Julbernadia globiflora (OOS)

English Name: Julbernardia

Local Name: Kabunga (B)

General information

A tree found in miombo woodlands. It is well-branched deciduous tree 5-15m high with flat or rounded spreading crown and large, heavy branches. Trunk often crooked. The bark is pale grey, becoming dark grey and rough with age.

Human benefits

 The inner bark is an important local source of string and rope used for tying, for example in construction. The bark is also used for making beehives, stitched canoes, bins and sacks. The bark is used to roll rings to carry baskets on the head. Larger pieces of bark are used for making containers, seats and doors. The fibre from the bark is used for making the warm and flexible ‘gudza’ cloth, which is made into garments and household items, such as storage bags and beer strainers. The bark was formerly made into bark cloth. In Burundi fibre from the root is made into fishing lines. The wood is used for poles, tool handles, mortars, yokes, harnesses and canoes. It is also suitable for railway sleepers, mine props, construction, flooring, shipbuilding, vehicle bodies, furniture, sporting goods, interior trim and joinery. The wood is widely used as fuelwood and for making charcoal. The bark yields a tannin used for dyeing.

Health benefits

Root decoctions are drunk for the treatment of depression and stomach problems. Decoctions of the bark are dropped into the eye against conjunctivitis, and a bark infusion is used as a wash to contract the vaginal canal. Bark fibres are chewed in case of constipation, and tannin from the bark has been used as a laxative. Stem pieces are ground and smoked for the treatment of leprosy. In case of snakebite, the leaves of Julbernardia globiflora are rubbed into scarification around the wound after the poison has been sucked out.

Livestock benefits

The leaves and fruits are eaten by livestock and game. In veterinary medicine, an infusion of the bark is instilled against diarrhoea in cattle.


Cultivation Details

occurs at 250–2000 m altitude in deciduous woodland, usually with an average annual rainfall below 1000 mm, a dry season of 7–8 months, and subject to regular fires. It is widespread and abundant, and often dominant or co-dominant in dry miombo woodland, usually occurring with Brachystegia spiciformis and forming tsetse-fly habitats. In southern Africa it occurs especially in drier areas and on poor soils of plateaus and slopes.


can be propagated by seed or suckers. The 1000-seed weight is 260–670 g. Germination takes 5–25 days, and germination rates of 73% have been recorded