Entada abyssinica

Invasive species Disclaimer

In view of the fact that some tree species are invasive, the world Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has put in place a policy document on Invasive Alien Species, currently under draft available at Here.

For more information on this subject, please refer to
100 of the World's worst Invasive and Alien Species.

Species Index    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Multiple Criteria Search

Abelmoschus moschatus
Acacia aneura
Acacia angustissima
Acacia aulacocarpa
Acacia auriculiformis
Acacia catechu
Acacia cincinnata
Acacia crassicarpa
Acacia elatior
Acacia erioloba
Acacia etbaica
Acacia ferruginea
Acacia glauca
Acacia holosericea
Acacia karroo*
Acacia koa
Acacia laeta
Acacia lahai
Acacia leptocarpa
Acacia leucophloea
Acacia mangium
Acacia mearnsii*
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia mellifera
Acacia nilotica subsp nilotica
Acacia pachycarpa
Acacia pennatula
Acacia polyacantha ssp. polyacantha
Acacia saligna
Acacia senegal
Acacia seyal
Acacia sieberiana
Acacia tortilis
Acacia xanthophloea
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Adansonia digitata
Adenanthera pavonina
Aegle marmelos
Afzelia africana
Afzelia quanzensis
Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
Aleurites moluccana
Allanblackia floribunda
Allanblackia stuhlmannii
Allanblackia ulugurensis
Alnus acuminata
Alnus cordata
Alnus japonica
Alnus nepalensis
Alnus rubra
Alphitonia zizyphoides
Alstonia boonei
Alstonia congensis
Alstonia scholaris
Altingia excelsa
Anacardium occidentale
Andira inermis
Annona cherimola
Annona muricata
Annona reticulata
Annona senegalensis
Annona squamosa
Anogeissus latifolia
Anthocephalus cadamba
Antiaris toxicaria
Antidesma bunius
Araucaria bidwillii
Araucaria cunninghamii
Arbutus unedo
Areca catechu
Arenga pinnata
Argania spinosa
Artemisia annua
Artocarpus altilis
Artocarpus camansi
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Artocarpus integer
Artocarpus lakoocha
Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
Ateleia herbert-smithii
Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
Averrhoa carambola
Azadirachta excelsa
Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana
Related Links
© Bart Wursten
© Bart Wursten

Local names:
Amharic (kontir,kentefa), Bemba (mulalantanga,mulalantete), English (tree entanda), Hausa (tawatsa), Igbo (angaramiri), Lozi (fumbwamusowo), Luganda (musambamazzi,mwolola), Lunda (muzenze), Nyanja (chongololo,chisekele), Shona (asena), Tigrigna (halka),

Entada abyssinica is a small to medium-sized, deciduous tree, 3-15 m high, with a flat, spreading crown; bark grey to reddish, slightly fissured, flaking off in irregular patches; slash pink with streaks of red; branchlets pendulous, glabrous or sometimes pubescent.

Leaves alternate, bipinnate, stipules absent; pinnae 1-22 pairs; leaflets 15-55 pairs, mostly linear-oblong, 13-14 x 1-4 mm; apex round to slightly obtuse and slightly mucronate, appressed, pubescent above and below, or sometimes glabrous above, rarely entirely glabrous; petiole glandular.

Inflorescence 1-4 axillary racemes, 7-16 cm (including the 4-15 mm peduncle); flowers creamy white or fading yellowish, sweet scented.

Fruit a large, flat legume, 15-39 x 3-9 cm, subcoriaceous, straight or nearly so, with no conspicuous seed segments; seeds oval, flat, 10-13 x 8-10 mm; pod splitting between each seed, leaving the pod rim and forming a wing for the seeds.

E. abyssinica superficially resembles an acacia tree, from which it can be distinguished by its bipinnate leaves and the absence of thorns. The name ‘Entada’ is derived from an East Indian vernacular name. The specific name means ‘from Ethiopia’.


E. abyssinica is an understorey forest species found in association with Albizia zygia and A. hockii. It extends from Guinea to Cameroon and is also widespread in central and eastern tropical Africa. It is usually found in a savannah habitat.

Native range
Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia

Tree management

Coppicing is a suitable practice. The species prefers open areas, so slashing of herbaceous vegetation in its natural habitat might boost its growth and yield.

Seed storage behaviour is orthodox. There are 3600-4200 seeds/kg.

E. abyssinica is an understorey forest species found in association with Albizia zygia and A. hockii. It extends from Guinea to Cameroon and is also widespread in central and eastern tropical Africa. It is usually found in a savannah habitat.

Pretreatment of the seed is sometimes necessary because of the hardness of the seed coat. Seed germination is very high: 70-100%. The species regenerates naturally from coppice and seed. Root suckers are produced if the root is wounded.

Poison:  Juice of the bark and cambium has been used as ordeal poison under the eyelid.

The leaves are suitable for fodder.

E. abyssinica is often used as firewood.

Timber: Heartwood is pale brown, occasionally tinged with pink, and is moderately light and easy to work.

Shade or shelter:  Often conserved around homesteads and in coffee and tea plantations for light shade.

Tannin or dyestuff:  The root contains a saponin, entada saponin, and an alkaloid. 

Medicine:  The plant is used in the treatment of miscarriage, and the leaf for fever. A decoction of the bark is taken for coughs, chronic bronchial engorgement, rheumatic pains and abdominal pain. An infusion of crushed roots is good for bronchial problems. A root or leaf decoction is used as a fever remedy; powdered or roasted pulverized seeds for sneezing; root bark as a massage for swelling; and the raw fruit induces vomiting as an antidote to snake venom. The seeds treat cataracts and diseases of the back of the eye.

Nitrogen fixing:  E. abyssinica has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen.

Ornamental:  A good avenue tree, and it is planted for this purpose.

Intercropping:  The tree grows well with crops.