Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Mauritius thorn, Mysore thorn, Cats claw, Wait-a-bit.

+ Tree Species

Caesalpinia decapetala

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Mauritius thorn is native to Tropical Asia. A thorny shrub widely naturalized in Africa in medium- and high rainfall areas, 900-2,100 m. In Uganda commonly cultivated as a live fence or growing wild in most areas except North Eastern Region. In Kampala, Caesalpinia decapetala can be found in Makerere University Zone 1 among other places.

+ Description

A shrub or climber, occasionally reaching 10 m.

BARK: grey and smooth with prickles.

LEAVES: feathery, compound to 50 cm long with hooked prickles along the leaf stalk.

FLOWERS: showy pale yellow in spikes to 30 cm, 2 cm across with orange stamens hanging down.

FRUIT: clusters of brown pointed pods, held erect on woody stalks scattering seeds as they open.

+ Uses

Medicine: leaves, roots, stems, and pods, seeds. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Biancaea+decapetala&redir=Caesalpinia+decapetala

An ornamental tree.

Agroforestry: used as a livestock excluding barrier, grown as field boundaries, make an excellent hedge plant, used in soil stabilization project, provides bee forage, leaves can be used as a mulch.

Seeds and roots are used as an insecticide.

The bark is a rich source of tannin.

Seeds are used to make necklaces.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings, layering.

+ Management

Fairly fast growing; trim as a live fence.

+ Remarks

It may develop into a serious weed if not checked, especially in pasture land. Burning in the dry season is a control measure. The thorns are so effective that a C. decapetala hedge has been compared to barbed wire.

Development partners