Strychnos cocculoides

Botanical name

Strychnos cocculoides (SA no 623)

Other names

Corky-bark monkey orange; geelklapper (Afrikaans), Loganiaceae


A tree of up to 8 m

Description of stem

Light brown, corky, deeply longitudinally ridged on mature trunks, young branches purplish, hairy; curved spines and usually a terminal spine on the branch

Description of leaves

Ovate to round on a short petiole; may have hairs on the upper surface or hairless and shiny; margin entire

Description of flowers

Small, greenish in clusters; prominent calyx

Description of seed/fruit

Woody, spherical, green with white spots

Description of roots




Propagation and cultivation

Grows from seed or root suckers; fast growing; experiments to grow as fruit trees in Zambia have yielded some promise




Edible fruit, sometimes stored in sand for eating later; used as a dye to colour utensils and protect them from insects; said to provide a cough medicine and for treating eczema; the wood is used to make tool handles; planted with some success in Israel for the edible fruit

Ecological rarity


Pests and Diseases





In deciduous woodland, on rocky hills and dry, sandy soil

Distribution (SA provinces)

Northwest, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga


South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania