Ochradenus baccatus is a widely distributed shrub in desert regions of the Middle East and North Africa. This plant's nematicidal activity against the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica was evaluated because it has been found to contain exceptionally high levels of glucosinolates. In in vitro assays with aqueous extracts of the plant, 100% of second-stage juveniles were immobilized after exposure to 4% root-core extract for 48 h; 8% root-core extract suppressed their hatching by 87%, whereas stem, flower and root bark showed lower activity. Incorporation of root core or bark into the soil, as fresh or dry powder at 1 and 0·5% (w/w), respectively, reduced the number of nematodes recovered from the soil by 95–100%, whereas the flower and stem were much less effective. Results from further pot experiments indicated that only the root bark consistently contains nematicidal compounds which are effective in soil, whereas the nematicidal activity of the root core in soil was inconsistent. The presence of non-volatile lipophilic and lipophobic nematicidal compounds in the root bark was suggested by extraction with different polar solvents, but these compounds do not seem to be isothiocyanates – glucosinolate-hydrolysed compounds with nematicidal activity. Very poor host status of Ochradenus baccatus to M. javanica, M. incognita and M. hapla, but with root-penetration rates of juveniles similar to those in tomato roots, suggest that this plant may be used as a cover plant or trap plant to reduce nematode populations in the soil.