In the wake of Africa Earth day and indeed (World) Earth day, it seems fitting to do a piece that celebrates trees. With the earth’s resources being plundered to make way for economic growth, commerce and production the world over; the need for conservation can never be overstated. Trees such as the Mogutswe tree have so much to offer, yet how many of us Batswana are aware of this?
- The Kalahari White Bauhinia is also known as the wild coffee bean plant. It is called the Mogutswe tree in Setswana.
- It can be found in Botswana and other parts of Southern Africa as well as as far north as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- It belongs to the species of trees that can grow to about 3 metres.
- It is most commonly found in dry places such as dry woodlands and the Kgalagadi sand veld.
- Known as wild coffee beans, the seeds of this plant are a delicacy in some parts of Botswana, where they are roasted and brewed as a local coffee. They are eaten as nuts. These wonder seeds are also used to make cooking oil. The raw seeds are also edible.
- The bark is sometimes used to make rope, while the roots are used to make dye.
- 7. Because of its pretty flowers and its overall beauty, it’s often grown for decorative purposes. Although it’s a wild tree, it can also be transplanted elsewhere.
- The Mogutswe tree is also known for its medicinal properties. The roots are often used to concoct traditional/herbal medicines.
With so much to offer, it’s truly baffling that many people are unaware of the Mogutswe tree! Have you heard of or know the Mogutswe tree? Please feel free to share with us how you’ve benefited from it, if at all.
Reference: BW Government Facebook page
Picture credit: Luis Bacher