One of Africa’s most iconic trees, the Marula is widespread over sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. In South Africa it is found in Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and Northwest. It grows in savanna and woodland.
The Marula is a large tree, growing up to 18m tall, with a wide spreading crown. Its fruit and leaves are popular with a very wide range of animals, from moth larvae and rodents to giraffes and elephants.
Marula fruit are edible, either fresh or made into jam. Fermented it is used to make traditional beer and Marula cream liqueur is exported the world over. The nut is used as food by itself or mixed with vegetables. In traditional medicine various parts of the Marula tree is used to treat allergies, diarrhoea, rheumatism, haemorrhoids , constipation, even gonorrhoea. The wood is good enough to manufacture furniture and floors and strong rope can be made from the inside layer of the bark.