Tree Guide

Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania

Jon C. Lovett, Chris K. Ruffo, Roy E. Gereau & James R.D. Taplin
Illustrations by Line Sørensen & Jilly Lovett


This field guide started life as a file card index prepared by Jon Lovett during field work in Tanzania from 1979 to 1992. The text derived from the original index was substantially added to by the students Jette Raal Hansen, Karin Sørig Hougaard, Vibeke Hørlyck, Peter Høst, Kristian Mikkelsen, Rosa, Josefine, Henry Ndangalasi and Ludovick Uronu at the Botanical Museum of Copenhagen during training excercises in 1994. Chris Ruffo added information on local names and uses and Roy Gereau checked, uptaked and edited the nomenclature and included species missing from the original list. The participation of Chris Ruffo was supported by the DANIDA Tree Seed Centre.

Moist forests are defined here as evergreen and semi-deciduous closed canopy vegetation that ranges from lowland groundwater and riverine forests to elfin mist forests on the tops of high mountains. A large tree is defined as being greater than 10 m or 20 cm diameter at breast height. The diameter measurement is included so that stunted trees in cold high elevation forests are covered. There are a great many trees smaller than 10 m in height, particularly in the family Rubiaceae. The height limit thus constrains the number of species included. A few species known only from the forests of eastern Kenya are included. This is to ensure full coverage of large trees from the Eastern Arc and Coastal Forest biodiversity “hotspot”. The book “Kenya Trees Shrubs and Lianas” by Henk Beentje contains a full coverage of the Kenyan species.

The illustrations have been prepared by Line Sørensen & Jilly Lovett. Some of the illustrations by Line Sørensen have been published in the “Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa” by Neil Burgess and Phil Clarke. The illustrations by Jilly Lovett were used in the “Field Guide to the Trees of Kilimanjaro” by Jon Lovett and Ludovick Uronu; and in the “Trees of Amani Nature Reserve” by Leif Schulman, Leo Junikka, Ahmed Mndolwa and Iddi Rajabu. Previously published illustrations are reproduced with permission.

Distribution maps were prepared by James Taplin from published and unpublished sources using the computer programme WOLRDMAP. Maps were created as part of the Africa Plant Mapping Project supported by the Centre for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International. James Taplin was also responsible for editing and preparing the text for publication.

Last Updated: 21 March 2017