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Ocotea Bullata

   (Family: Lamiaceae)
Afrikaans: stinkhout, swartstinkhout, laurelhout English: Stinkwood, black stinkwood, Cape laurel Xhosa: umNukani (Zulu), umHlungulu (Xhosa)  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Tree No.: 118
Height: 10 - 30m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Biome: Forest
Flowering time EDIT
x x                   x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Bark / Stem type
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are dark and glossy green with blisters or bubbles on the upper surface, known as bullae, hence the specific epithet bullata.
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
  Seed info EDIT
Description EDIT
The Stinkwood's common name refers to the peculiar, but by no means bad, smell of the freshly cut wood. The scientific species name, bullata, refers to the tow warts on the upper surface of the dark green, glossy leaves.
Growing EDIT
This tree makes a lovely specimen for a large garden or a park. It is propagated from cuttings, but it has a low rooting success. The seed in the wild is parasitized and the regeneration potential is reduced. The seed must be picked, cleaned and sown immediately. The seed takes up to 30 days to germinate. This is a fairly fast growing tree if happy with its position, but stinkwoods are reported to be "fussy" and do not transplant easily (Palmer and Pitman). They prefer a shady forest situation.
Distribution EDIT
The Stinkwood is an evergreen tree found in temperate forest and grows up to 30 m high, with a trunk of up to 1.5 meter in diameter. its bark in medium-aged tree is grey- mottled and smooth with horizontal ridges, Stinkwoods flower in mid-summer, bearing small cream flowers arranged in loose clusters. The Purpule gruit is set in a green cup, like a small acorn, ripening in autumn.
History EDIT
In the past, when Stinkwood was abundant in the forest, the timber was used for a large variety of purposes such as planks,beams, doors, window frames, wagon-wood, railway sleepers, shipbuilding and of course furniture. Stinkwoods finely textured, naturally lustrous and beautifully light cream to almost black coloured wood makes is a highly prized furniture timber.

Africans use this tree medicinally, mostly the bark is used as a remedy for headache. The bark is used in various ways by traditional healers for urinary diseases and as an emetic for emotional and nervous disorders. The bark can also be drunk as tea or applied as steam to treat pimples. It is one of the top ten widely traded plants in South Africa.
Ecology EDIT
Birds such as Rameron and the Delegorgue's pigeons and the Cape parrot favour the fruits of stinkwood.
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