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(Ochna family)

• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: The traditional use of the bark or root of some species in the treatment of wounds and as a pain-relieving application has been recorded. •
• Adverse effects: The nickel- and cobalt- accumulating properties of some species may be of dermatological significance in geographic regions where the soil in which the plants grow contains high levels of these elements. Reports of itching and dermatitis in woodworkers handling African oak remain to be substantiated. •
• Veterinary aspects: •

Members of this family of trees, shrubs and herbs, are found in tropical regions and especially in Brazil. According to Mabberley (2008), about 450 species in 30 genera have been recorded. The principal genera are Luxemburgia A. St-Hil. (17 spp.), Ochna L. (86 spp.), Ouratea Aublet (about 200 spp.), Quiina Aublet (about 35 spp.), and Sauvagesia L. (39 spp.).

Although it has been declared a noxious weed in some parts of the world, Ochna serrulata Walp. (the Mickey Mouse plant) is sometimes grown in temperate regions as a greenhouse ornamental as are certain other species of Ochna L. and Luxemburgia A. St-Hil.

Brackenridgea palustris Bartell. ssp foxworthyi Kanis
(syns Brackenridgea foxworthyi Furtado, Ochna foxworthyi Elmer)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Brackenridgea palustris Bartell. ssp kjellbergii Kanis

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Brackenridgea zanguebarica Oliver
(syn. Pleuroridgea zanguebarica Tieghem)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Lophira alata Banks ex Gaertner f.
(syns Lophira africana Banks ex G. Don, Lophira simplex G. Don)
Meni Oil Tree

This West African tree is the source of a commercially valuable timber known variously as African oak, azobé, ekki, bongossi, or red ironwood. The seeds yield an oil, named meni oil, used in cooking (Mabberley 2008).

Hausen (1981) lists the timber from this species as a cause of itching and dermatitis. Bleumink & Nater (1974b) recorded no positive patch test reactions to an ethanolic extract of the wood in 20 patients allergic to woods.

Lophira lanceolata Tieghem ex Keay
(syn. Lophira alata auct.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Ouratea nitida Engl.
(syns Ochna nitida Sw., Ouratea cubensis Urban)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Ouratea reticulata Engl.
(syns Campylospermum reticulatum Tieghem, Gomphia reticulata P. Beauv.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Ouratea striata Urban
(syns Camptouratea striata Tieghem, Ouratea roigii Britton)

[Information available but not yet included in database]


  • Bleumink E, Nater JP (1974b) Allergic reactions to (tropical) woods. Contact Dermatitis Newsletter (15): 436-437
  • Hausen BM (1981) Woods Injurious to Human Health. A manual. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter
  • Mabberley DJ (2008) Mabberley's Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of plants, their classification and uses, 3rd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • [ + 8 further references not yet included in database]

Richard J. Schmidt [Valid HTML 4.01!]

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