Herb: Chittamwood

Latin name: Bumelia lanuginosa

Synonyms: Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Family: Sapotaceae (Sapodilla Family)

Edible parts of Chittamwood:

Fruit - usually pickled. Not very tasty according to one report whilst another says that large quantities can cause stomach upsets. The fruit is between 1 - 2cm in diameter. A clear viscid gum is obtained from the cut wood. It also exudes freely from wounds on the trunk and branches. The dried and ground up bark is used like chicle as a chewing gum.

Description of the plant:


15 m
(49 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

On sandy beaches and in sandy woods, preferring water courses and washes.

Other uses of Chittamwood:

Wood - heavy, rather soft, not strong, close grained. It weighs about 40lb per cubic foot. Used for tool handles, cabinet making etc.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - we have no details on this species but would suggest that if ripe seed can be obtained it should be sown straight away in a cold greenhouse. Stored seed can be sown in late winter or early spring in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cultivation of Chittamwood:

On sandy beaches and in sandy woods, preferring water courses and washes.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Bumelia lanuginosa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.