It is a broadleaved small tree that can reach up to 7–14 m, variably deciduous in the dry season to semi-evergreen, depending on the climate. The leaves are alternate, simple, elliptic to obovate, entire, 9–15 cm long and 3–8 cm broad, green above with pale undersides. The flowers are tiny and form pale spikes at the base of the leaves. The fruit is a samara with a single wing 6–9 cm long, that turns brown with age.
It can be found in open forest habitats with more than 1300 mm of rainfall per year. as well as closed forest. When it is found in closed forest, it typically is part of the forest canopy. It may be the dominant large tree species where it is found. Fire and debarking by elephants can damage the trees.
In parts of West Africa, T. schimperiana is used as a medicinal plant. The bark is applied to wounds, and the twigs may be chewed to promote oral hygiene. In laboratory experiments, extracts of the plant were found to have in vitro antibiotic properties against Staphylococcus. The plant extracts also have antifungal properties in vitro.
- African Plants Database: Terminalia schimperiana
- Arbonnier, M. (2004). Trees, shrubs and lianas of West African dry zones. Margraf Publishers ISBN 3-8236-1419-3.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "Country profiles / Forest cover - natural woody vegetation (Sudan)". Retrieved 2007-06-08.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "Country profiles / Forest cover - natural woody vegetation (Cote d'Ivoire)". Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- Jones, E. W. (1963). "The Cece Forest Reserve, Northern Nigeria". Journal of Ecology 51 (2): 461–466. doi:10.2307/2257697.
- Buechner, H. K.; Dawkins, H. C. (1961). "Vegetation Change Induced by Elephants and Fire in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda". Ecology 42 (4): 752–766. doi:10.2307/1933504.
- Sofonara; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (1982). "Appendix 5 - Medicinal Plants in Common Use in West Africa". Retrieved 2007-06-08.
- Akande, J. A., & Hayashi, Y. (1998). Potency of extract contents from selected tropical chewing sticks against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus auricularis. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 14 (2): 235-238. Abstract, doi 10.1023/A:1008838331079.
- Batawila, K. (2005). Antifungal activities of five Combretaceae used in Togolese traditional medicine. Fitoterapia 76 (2): 264-268. Abstract.