Silver Cluster-leaf (Terminalia sericea)

Description of the Resource

The Silver Cluster-leaf (Terminalia sericea) is a deciduous tree native to southern Africa, thriving from Tanzania to South Africa. It grows up to 23 meters in height, with bluish-green leaves covered in fine silvery hairs. The name "sericea," meaning silky, aptly describes its downy foliage, and "silver" refers to the distinctive silvery sheen of its leaves.

Ecologically, Silver Cluster-leaf is crucial for land restoration, forming dense thickets in unwooded areas and aiding in erosion control. It supports biodiversity by providing habitat and food for various insects and animals. The tree supports biodiversity by providing food for various caterpillars and browsing animals during the dry season. Its foul-smelling flowers attract flies for pollination, contributing to the ecosystem's reproductive dynamics.

Despite its resilience, the Silver Cluster-leaf faces threats from overharvesting and habitat destruction. Sustainable harvesting practices are essential, including appropriate timing, selective part collection, and the use of proper techniques to ensure the tree’s long-term survival and compliance with biodiversity regulations.

Usage of the Resource and Value Chain Development

Silver Cluster-leaf holds substantial traditional, economic, and pharmaceutical value. Its wood, valued for its hardness and termite resistance, is utilized in building construction, furniture making, tool handles, fencing posts, firewood, and charcoal production. The bark and leaves have medicinal applications for treating ailments such as stomach disorders, pneumonia, and diabetes.

The tree has significant commercialization and export potential, especially in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It exhibits promising properties, including antibacterial, antifungal, and antidiabetic effects. Further research, clinical trials, and product development are needed to fully exploit its pharmaceutical potential.

Value chain development plans for commercialization of a botanical extract include:

  • Commercial Product Development: Creating and testing products based on Terminalia sericea.
  • Value Chain Assessment: Assessing value chains to establish supply chains.
  • Supply Chain Establishment: Identifying and training local supply partners and supporting ABS agreements.

These initiatives aim to ensure sustainable and impactful commercialization of Silver Cluster-leaf products.