African Zebrawood, Endangered, Rare, Expensive

African zebrawood, also known as Microberlinia bisulcata, is a species of hardwood tree that is native to West Africa. Zebrawood, a member of the Fabaceae family is also known as Zebrano in Niger, Zingana in Ghana, and Allen Ele in Senegal.

African zebrawood trees are small compared to other more well know tropical trees like rosewood and mahogany, for example reaching heights of around 50 feet. The tree is characterized by its distinctive striped pattern, which gives it its name. The stripes are light yellow to golden-brown in color and are set against a darker brown background. The stripes are actually the tree's growth rings and are caused by the way the tree grows.

The wood of the African zebrawood tree is highly prized for its decorative qualities. It is a dense, hard, and heavy wood that is easily worked and takes a high polish. The wood has a very distinct striped pattern, which makes it highly sought after by furniture makers and woodworkers.

Medicinal Uses

  • Wound healing: The bark of the tree is used in traditional medicine to treat wounds and promote healing.
  • Antimicrobial: Zebrawood bark and leaves possess antimicrobial properties and is used traditionally to treat all types of infections.
  • Anti-inflammatory: The leaf of a Zebrawood leaf has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively treats conditions like arthritis.
  • Fever reduction: The bark and leaves of the tree have been used to reduce fevers.
  • Digestive disorders: Digestive disorders, like diarrhea and dysentery are still treated today from the bark and leaf of Zebrawood.
  • Respiratory conditions: The common cold, coughs and bronchitis can also be treated with compounds pressed from Zebrawood leaves.

One Of The Hardest Hardwoods In The World

Zebrawood properties are impressive, making it a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and decorative items. It is resistant to insect attack, rot, and decay, making it ideal for outdoor use. It is also very durable, with a Janka hardness rating of 1575, making it one of the hardest woods available.

Zebrawood tree is also found growing in other parts of West Africa, including Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and the Ivory Coast. However, the largest and most significant populations of the tree are found in Cameroon. Mount Cameroon, in particular, is home to several critically endangered tree species, including the African zebrawood.

Unfortunately, extensive logging has reduced the African zebrawood to just one population in Korup National Park and a second by Mount Cameroon. Deforestation and habitat destruction threaten the survival of Zebrawood and today African zebrawood is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and conservation efforts are underway to protect it.

Adopt An Endangered Tree Program

People can help to protect the African zebrawood and other endangered tree species by supporting conservation efforts. One way to do this is by joining tree plantation's Adopt An Endangered Tree Program. This program allows individuals to adopt a tree and contribute to its conservation by providing funds for research, monitoring, and conservation activities.

In conclusion, the African zebrawood is a unique and valuable species that is under threat from habitat destruction and deforestation. Its distinctive striped pattern and impressive properties make it highly sought after by furniture makers and woodworkers. Conservation efforts must be embraced to protect this species and ensure its survival for future generations.

African Zebrawood, Article Posted July 27, 2023