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Family name: Sapotaceae

Scientific name: Manilkara nicholsonii

Authority: A.E.van Wyk

Synonym: Gardenia globosa Hochst.

Zulu name: amasethole

Other names: Pondo milkberry

Short description: M. nicholsonii is a medium-sized to large tree. It has elliptic dark green leaves that are glossy above and dull below, small solitary white flowers, berry-like fruits that turn orange when ripe, and branches and greyish furrow bark that bleeds a white latex when injured. The tree grows on rocky forest margins or streambanks of Pondoland.


The Zulu name “amasethole” is a portmanteau of the words amasi (sour milk) and ithole (calf), referencing the milk latex of the tree.

The plant gets the name amasethole because the plant has a milky / latex that is used to treat a poisoning.

Related uses: The milky latex is used to treat poisoning from rotten meat. The milky latex is used to make chicle, a natural gum. The plant is used to treat stomach cramps. The wood is used to make knobkerries (traditional sticks) for fighting and protection.

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