The Wanza tree (Cordia Africana) is native of Africa and grows all over the continent.
It’s scientific name is in honor of the German botanist Valerius Cordus that made the first description of an Ethiopian specimen.
It is a common tree of African forests and it can also be found in fields where it is use as shade for crops, like for example coffee. It usually grows near river banks in middle to low altitudes and is also planted near homes.
Its height can reach 30 meters and has a rounded crown and a crooked trunk. It’s an easy and fast grower.
The flowers are attractive, white and lightly scented and they attract bees to their nectar, and that’s why bee hives are placed near this tree.
Its yellow fruit is edible and is dispersed by birds after eating it.
Its wood is used as fuel and to carve tools and make furniture. The leaves are used as mulch to fertilize the soil and food for livestock.
This tree is also found around churches and monasteries where it has survived the deforestation that occurs all over Ethiopia. Many times the monks are the ones who take care of planting this and other native trees, as is the case of the Ethiopian Monk Aba Hailegebresilasse in Lalibela.
These places not only are religious sites, but also a refuge of native tree species