Indigenous Mpundu tree.
Common name: Mobola plum.
Scientific name: Parinari curatellifolia
Cork tree is native to west, north and southern part of Africa. The tree is small medium-sized evergreen tree with distinct mushroom shaped crown. The flowers are white to pink, small in sharpe, the caycces and stalks covered in denswe woolly. The height of the tree varies from around 3 metres up to a fairly large tree 20 metres tall, but is more likely to be around 8 - 10 metres.
Cork tree roots are used to reat toothache. A leaf decoction is eiter drunk used in a bath as a remedy for fevers. The leaves can be crused or pulped to be used in dressing fractures, discolations, wounds, cutes and sores. The leaf extracts and bark may be used as a remedy for symptoms of pneumonia or to treat ailments of the eye or ear.
The seeds, which bear oil, may be eaten raw in the form of nuts. The oil when crushed can be used to cook vetegatbles or soup. The fruits are also occasionally utilized for the brewing of alcoholic beverages. The wood of cork tree contains silica which makes it difficult to work with, the wood can be used for the manufacture of pounding blocks or poles, as well as boats. The wood is also a good source of firewood. The tradition of basket-making is associated with this tree as the bark produces a pink-brown dye which is generally used in basket work. The bark and leaf extracts can also be used for tanning purposes, for example the tanning of leather.
Cork tree is good for bee forage.