By Anupum Pant
Of course rocks bleed. Some trees do too. Pterocarpus angolensis is a native south African teak wood that is also known as the bloodwood tree. Its called that because it has a blood coloured sap. That means, if you chop or cut down the trunk of this tree, it bleeds. The dark red coloured sap drips out from the inside of it, just like an animal would. The most interesting part – this sticky and reddish-brown, blood-like sap actually seals the cut and heals it.
When cut, it bleeds like this…
The red coloured sap of this tree is traditionally also used to make dyes. And some believe that it has magical healing properties, just because it looks so much like the human blood.
It’s also used to treat problems involving ringworm, stabbing pains, eye problems, malaria, blackwater fever, stomach problems and to increase the supply of breast milk.
Leaving the blood aside for a while, the wood itself can be used to make good furniture.
The Bloodwood tree grows 12 to 18 meters tall, has dark-brown rough bark, a beautiful umbrella-shaped spreading crown and bears yellow flowers.