The name is derived from "Pitta" = pitch and "sporum" = seed (referring
to the sticky seeds); and viridiflorum = with green flowers.
Many birds, including the red-eyed dove and several starlings eat
the seeds. Goats and game (Kudu, Nyala, and Bushbuck) browse the
leaves. The stem bark, which has a bitter taste and strong resinous
or liquorice smell, is used medicinally. Decoctions or infusions
are widely used to treat stomach complaints, abdominal pain and
fever. It is said to ease pain and have a calming effect. Dried,
powdered root or bark is sometimes added to beer as an aphrodisiac.
The wood is reportedly little used - being soft
and white, which may account for the common name - cheesewood. However,
Venter & Venter (1996) state that it is used for kitchen furniture
It is widely distributed in the eastern half of South Africa, occuring
from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Free
State and up into tropical Africa.
Cheesewood propagates easily from seed. Unparasitised seed has a
germination percentage of 80-90%. Seeds germinate in 8-12 weeks
Plants may also be propagated by means of softwood or semi-hardwood