Address

102 Dunmaglass Road
Glenferness, Midrand

Contact Details

Cell - 082 824 6715
Telkom - 011 465 8857

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8am - 4.30pm
Sat - Sun: 9am - 4.30pm

Acokanthera oppositifolia

Bushmans Poison

Contains poisonous milky latex and poisonous berries. Used medicinally.

Plant Type:

Description

This small sized evergreen tree it is hardy, drought and frost resistant with non-aggressive roots. It tolerates full sun or shade and also does well as a container plant. The clusters of pink – white, sweetly scented flowers open in spring, followed by large plum coloured fruit like berries. The stems contain poisonous milky latex which was used as an arrow poison by the Bushmen. Although it is poisonous it is used medicinally to treat snake and spider bites and also for aches, toothache and colds. The leaves are used as a snuff for headaches, convulsions, stomach pain and septicaemia. Root decoctions are used to treat anthrax and tapeworm. Its ideal for a small garden. This plant is toxic and must be approached with caution. Accidental deaths have occurred when children have eaten the flowers or the fruit. One of our Zulu staff said that they eat the fruit. Some have died when they used the branches as sosati sticks to cook their boerewors. It has also been used for murder whereby thorns are soaked in the sap and then left in the path of a barefoot victim. It attracts birds and butterflies. It is used medicinally as an infusion of root bark is used to treat excessive or irregular menstruation. The name is derived from the Greek ,’akris’ which means sharp point and ‘anthera’ which means anthers referring to the sharp anthers within the flowers.