Mopane Tree at Chobe Campsite

Mopane Tree

vic-falls-false-mopane-brizaIt is  Colophospermum mopane which is commonly known as Mopane, Mopani, butterfly tree, or turpentine tree, balsam tree. It belongs to legume family trees which grow in dry, hot, it generally grows in low-lying areas at the metres of 200 to 1150 in elevation in the northern areas in the South Africa. These trees come to see on the African continent. It is the only species in a group of Colophospermum. The shape of leafs is just like the butterfly and the thin seed pod make it trouble-free to identify the tree. A human can use it collectively with camel thorn and leadwood which are one of the three regionally essential firewood trees of the Africa.

Range of the Mopane tree:

It is a native tree of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Angola, and Namibia. It grows in alkaline soils which contain high lime contents. These trees are found in a little depth. It can also grow in alluvial soils. These trees vary in size between 4 to 18m in some parts of the South Africa and Zimbabwe. These trees cannot grow healthy in the summer rainfall.etosha-vegetation


nyala_tree_media_1028047793The wood of Mopane trees is the heaviest in Southern Africa and it is difficult to work on it because of its hardness. Because of this quality, this also makes it termite resistant. This is the main reason that it has been used from a long time to build the building, houses, and fences. The railway sleepers  can also be made from it. Resistance to termite, reddish color is the another reason that makes it popular in the making of floors. Mopane tree’s wood is gaining popularity in outside the African continent as a heavy and decorative wood. It also uses to make aquarium ornaments, sculptures, bases for a lamp and for the decoration of the garden.

The use of the Mopane tree also increases in the musical instrument’s constructions, mostly in the woodwind. African blackwood is usually used for clarinets and is becoming harder to find. Mopane is oily comparatively and it is a season well mopane-malilangwe-zimbabwe-040614-058-low-reswith a small number of shakes and it can produce instruments of a temperate and rich quality.

The branches of the Mopane tree can be used as tooth brushes and for a tan. It can also be used to heal the wounds. Wood of the tree can use to make charcoal and wood for a braai.

It is the major source of food for the worm of mopane and the caterpillar of the moth. People can eat caterpillars because it is very rich in protein. It also acts as a plant food for a wild silk moth. Cocoons of the moth can be harvested as wild silk and to make cloth from it.

The Mopane tree has oily seed which contains a turpentine smell. The name of the species is taken from the local name of the tree.

There are also many uses of the tree which the locals of the Africa know well.

The Mopane tree becomes very popular because it’s variant qualities.