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Home » Plant infomation

Elephantorrhiza elephantina  (Burch.) Skeels


Botanical Name


Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Burch.) Skeels

English Name


Elephant root, Elandsbean



Acacia elephantina Burch., Acacia elephantorrhiza Burch. ex DC., Elephantorrhiza burchellii Benth, Prosopis elephantina (Burch.) E. Mey., Prosopis elephantorrhiza Spreng.





General Info


Low shrub, producing at ground level annual stems 20–90 cm tall from the woody end of an elongate, often thickened rhizome up to 8 m long. Leaves alternate, bipinnately compound, almost glabrous; petiole up to 8 cm long, rachis up to 18 cm; pinnae 2–4 pairs in lower leaves, 7–17 in upper ones, axis up to 10 cm long; leaflets up to 55 pairs per pinna, linear to oblong, 4–15 mm × 0.5–2.5 mm, base asymmetric, apex acute and usually mucronate. Inflorescence an axillary raceme, usually confined to the lower part of the stem, solitary or clustered, including peduncle up to 12 cm long. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel up to 1.5 mm long, at base with red-brown glands, articulated near the middle; calyx campanulate, almost 2 mm long, toothed; petals free or slightly connate basally, linear-oblong, 2–4 mm × 1 mm, yellow-white; stamens 10, free, filaments up to 6.5 mm long; ovary superior, shortly stipitate, style filiform, stigma terminal. Fruit a compressed-oblong, straight or slightly curved pod 5–21 cm × 3–6 cm, red-brown, prominently transversely veined, often swollen over the seeds, the valves separating from the persistent margins, the outer layer of the fruit wall peeling off the inner layer and the layers breaking up irregularly. Seeds compressed-ellipsoid, 18–26 mm × 13–18 mm × 6–13 mm.

Herb Effects

Aphrodisiac (rhizome)


PROTAbase: Elephantorrhiza elephantina



Medicinal Use

The rhizome is used as a general remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery, stomachache, painful menstruation, as a relief for heart troubles and haemorrhoids, and to cure skin diseases and acne. The face is held in the vapour arising from a warm infusion to treat acne. An infusion is taken by women against infertility.



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