Microberlinia brazzavillensis - A.Chev.
Common Name Zingana
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Coastal forest[338 ].
Range Western tropical Africa - Congo, Gabon.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun

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A large tree growing up to 45 m in height, Zingana or Microberlinia brazzavillensis is a specialty timber tree grown in Congo and Gabon in Africa. It has a straight and cylindrical bole that can be up to 150 cm in diameter, and short buttresses. It has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria which form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Its wood is highly durable and resistant to the attack of termites and wood rotting fungi. It is used for decorative veneers and turnery, tool handles, and ski manufacture. It is also known in other common names such as zebrano and allen ele.

Microberlinia brazzavillensis Zingana

Microberlinia brazzavillensis Zingana
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Microberlinia brazzavillensis is an evergreen Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.


Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Other Uses The heartwood is pale yellow brown with narrow darker streaks, the striping pattern varies considerably; it is clearly demarcated from the white sapwood, which is up to 10cm wide[316 ]. The texture is medium to coarse; the grain usually wavy or interlocked; lustrous; an unpleasant odour disappearing upon drying[316 ]. The heartwood is durable and resistant to termite attack. The wood saws fairly well, although a clean smooth finish is sometimes difficult to obtain with machine or hand planing; it has good gluing properties, although veneers need careful handling to avoid cracking[316 ]. A speciality timber, it is used for decorative veneers and turnery; because of its high toughness it is also used in ski manufacture, tool handles etc[316 , 349 ].
Cultivation details
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200 ].
Seed -
Other Names
Found In
Cameroon; Congo; Gabon
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Vulnerable A1c
Related Plants


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Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Microberlinia brazzavillensis  

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