Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Mexican calabash, Jicaro, Winged Calabash

+ Tree Species

Crescentia alata

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Native to Mexico. Mexican calabash is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant tree. It grows well in part shade, part sun and full sun and tolerates both dry and moist soil. It can also grow in areas that flood seasonally. In Kampala, this tree can be found within Uganda Golf course club. 

+ Description

Jicaro is a low-growing tree with a rounded or spreading crown, rarely reaching a height of 12 metres. The short bole is up to 50cm in diameter. Both the flowers and fruit grow on short stalks right out of the side of the tree trunk. 


LEAVES: trifoliate, alternate or clustered, with prominently winged leaf-stalks, dark green, up to 8 inches long, leaflets inverted-lanceshaped.

FLOWERS: bell-shaped, solitary, yellow-green to maroon, on short stalk, up to 6 cm or so long. open at night and large.

FRUIT: Cannon ball like hard, round, green, to yellow, and eventually to brown. Once ripe, the fruits fall from the tree.

+ Uses

An ornamental tree.

Edible: refreshing drink is prepared using the ground seeds, seeds are mixed with raw rice, roasted pumpkin seeds, lemon peel, sugar, water and ice, and made into a non-alcoholic drink, stable oil is obtained from the seeds, fruits are sometimes eaten or made into a drink.

Medicine: fruit, and leaves. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Crescentia+alata

A decoction of the leaves is said to promote the growth of hair.

 The wood is used locally for making wagons and other article.

The fruit have woody shells which can be used to make cups, containers etc.

Agroforestry: pulp is food for cattle and horses.

+ Propagation


+ Management

Moderate growth rate

+ Remarks

The fruits are commonly gathered from the wild and used to make containers, cups etc. The tree is cultivated as an ornamental, and is also grown for timber.

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