The bloodwood tree, or also known as Pterocarpus angolensis is a type of tree usually found in south Africa. The bloodwood tree has many other names such as Kiaat, Muninga and Mukwa. The tree got its unusual name because of the dark red color of its sap.
When a branch of this type of tree is damaged you can see a red fluid dripping away and it really resembles blood. hence the name, The sticky red sap drips away and seals the damaged part of the tree to help it heal faster. Sound similar to what happens when us humans get injured right? They don’t call it the bloodwood tree for nothing I guess.
A few unusual uses for the red sap coming from the bloodwood tree
Traditional, the red sap is being used as dye and some people even mix it with animal fat to create a cosmetic for your face and body.
Some areas of the world believe it has magical properties and can cure many problems related to blood. Because it looks so similar to blood, it is believed to be able to treat some medical conditions like ringworm, eye problems,stabbing pains, malaria, blackwater fever and stomach issues. Some women also believe it can increase the amount of breast milk in women.
Facts about Pterocarpus angolensis
Because the tree is easily carved, it is a very popular wood for building furniture, together with a few other high quality features like almost not shrinking and being very durable. it’s also being used to build boats, canoes and bathroom floors.
Because the tree is so popular with the indigenous people of south Africa, the trees are being harvested in an unusual rate casing it to be in decline in recent decades.
The bloodwood tree grows to around 18 meters tall, it bares yellow fruit and has a beautiful dark brown bark.
Here’s a video showing the bleeding of the bloodwood tree:
Below are more pictures of the unusual tree
When you cut or damage this tree, it appears to be bleeding.