|Distribution of Salvadora persica in Kenya|
|© Maundu P. and Bo Tengnas. (2005). Useful trees and shrubs for Kenya, World Agroforestry Centre.|
General Information about the Tree:
Propagation and Tree Management
Coppicing is advantageous for the trees' use as a fuel, and the branches are repeatedly cut to produce short stems that are harvested for toothbrushes. It is generally a slow-growing tree.
- Food: its fruits have a sweet, agreeable, aromatic, slightly pungent and peppery taste and they can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and stored.
- Toothbrush; as the name suggests, it is a good source of tooth brush.
- Fodder: Leaves and young shoots are browsed by all stock, but normally cattle do not occur in the driest parts where its found and hence it tends to be valued more as a camel, sheep and goat forage.
- Apiculture: S. persica is a good source of nectar.
- Fuel: The wood is sometimes used for firewood and charcoal but it should not be used for cooking meat, as it leaves a foul taste.
- Timber: The wood is soft, white, easy to work and is not liable to termite attack. Used for coffins and clubs.
- Gum or resin: Resin that drips from the tree is supposedly useful for making varnish
|A toothbrush from Salvadora persica|
|© Bo Tengnas|
- Shade or shelter: it is planted as shelter belts and windbreaks to protect farm habitation, gardens and orchards.
- Reclamation: used in sand dune reclamation and also useful for reclaiming saline soils.
Pests and Diseases
When it occurs on river terraces, it is a preferred host of Cistanche tubulosa, an obligate phanerogamic root parasite. Defoliating larvae of several beetles can attack the tree too, and leaves are often susceptible to attacks by the lepidopteran Colotis ephiae. The mite Eriophyes causes leaf gall and a number of fungi such as Cercospora udaipurensis, Placosoma salvadorae and Sephogloeum salvadorae damage the leaves.