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Home » Plant infomation

Baillonella toxisperma  Pierre


Botanical Name


Baillonella toxisperma Pierre

English Name


Moabi, African pearwood, Djave nut



Mimusops djave Engl., Baillonella djava Pierre ex Dubard, Baillonella obovata Pierre





General Info


Very large tree up to 60(–70) m tall; bole up to 300(–500) cm in diameter, straight and cylindrical, sometimes swollen in lower part, reaching up to 30 m to the first branches, without buttresses; bark 4–5 cm thick, surface red-brown to dark grey, deeply longitudinally furrowed, red-brown in outer part of section, yellow-pink in inner part, little fibrous, exuding a sticky latex; crown umbrella-shaped, very large, up to 50 m in diameter, heavy branches spreading and sinuate; ultimate branches very thick, with numerous scars of fallen leaves. Leaves arranged spirally in tufts at the ends of branches, simple; stipules lanceolate, large, persistent; petiole 3–4 cm long, slender; blade narrowly obovate, 15–30 cm × 5–10 cm, cuneate at base, shortly acuminate at apex, margin entire, initially reddish hairy below but glabrescent, lateral veins numerous, distinct, curving and joined near leaf margin. Flowers in dense fascicles at the ends of branches, bisexual, regular; pedicel 2–3 cm long, pubescent; calyx with 2 whorls of 4 lobes c. 1 cm long, pubescent outside; corolla with c. 2.5 mm long tube and 8 lobes c. 4 mm long, each lobe with 2 large lateral segments c. 5.5 mm long, creamy white; stamens 8, inserted on the corolla tube in front of the corolla lobes, free, filaments short, 8 larger staminodes alternating with the stamens; ovary superior, long-hairy, 8-celled, each cell with 1 ovule, style short. Fruit a large, globose, smooth berry 5–8 cm in diameter, grey-green, becoming greenish yellow when ripe, containing 1–2(–3) seeds in a pale yellowish pulp. Seeds ellipsoid, slightly laterally compressed, c. 4 cm long, testa thin, smooth and shining in dorsal part, rough and bullate in ventral part (scar); endosperm thin or absent.

Herb Effects

Diuretic (bark decoction)


PROTAbase: Baillonella toxisperma



Medicinal Use

Bark decoctions are used to treat kidney problems, toothache, rachitis, vaginal infections and affections of the respiratory and digestive tracts. The seed kernel oil is applied externally to treat rheumatic pains.



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