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Dichrostachys cinerea

Authority(L.) Wight & Arn
Common names
Ecocrop code5302

DESCRIPTION: It is a semi-deciduous to deciduous tree up to 7 m tall with an open crown. Bark on young branches green and hairy but dark grey-brown and longitudinally fissured on older branches and stems, smooth on spines formed from modified side shoots. USE: Fruit and seeds are edible. Leaves and fruits can be used as feed. The flowers are a valuable honey source. Wood used as firewood and the bark yields fibre. Bark, roots and leaves have medicinal properties. The plant is widely used for sand dune stabilization and soil conservation. Useful for revegetation, intercropping, as an ornamental and as living fence. The roots fixes atmospheric nitrogen and the leaves , rich in nutrients, are frequently used as a green manure. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Chinese lantern tree, marabou thorn, sicklebush (English). FURTHER INF: It penetrates clear-cut areas far into the rainforest zone. In Malaysia, it occurs in areas with strong seasonal climate, usually on poor, occasionally clayey soils, in brushwood, thickets, hedges, teak forest and grassland. Forms dense hammocks on lateritic soils in Senegal and Sudan, while in India it occurs in dry deciduous forest. It can be an indicator of overgrazing in low rainfall areas. Usually not frost resistant and tolerance is less on poor soils, but definitely drought resistant. It is fire resistant and does not tolerate waterlogging. Best growth occurs on deep, sandy loamy soils and it can tolerate a wide pH range.
Grassland Index
ICRAF Agroforestree Database