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BORAGINACEAE

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

BORAGINACEAE

Cordia africana Lam.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. abyssinica R. Br.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mbapu (L), Mfufu (S), Mkibu (Be), Mringaringa (Sw, C), Msingati (Nh).
Bole: Straight/fluted/crooked/branched. Small/medium. To 30 m.
Bark: Dark to pale brown. Rough and fibrous, peeling, longitudinally fissured.
Slash: Yellow or white turning green, grey or brown.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.3 – 13 cm. Channelled.
Lamina: Medium. 7.5 – 17.5 × 3.5 – 9 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Rounded/cordate/cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate. Entire/serrate. Glabrous/hairy beneath. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Panicles of scorpioid cymes. Sweetly scented. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Yellow. subglobose/ovoid 1 – 1.2 cm long.
Ecology: Riverine, groundwater, dry montane and secondary forest. Grassland.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT. Widespread in Africa.
Notes: The local name Mringaringa means water tree.
Uses: The wood is used for furniture, beehives, mortars, carvings, building and firewood. The tree is also important for coffee shade and for avenues and ornamental purposes. The fruits produce glue and are also eaten by children. The bark is used as medicine for stomach-ache and for treatment of fractures with the fresh juicy bark tied against the broken part until the bone is healed.
Cordia goetzei Gürke
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Fluted/scandent. (vertically ridged) Small/medium. To 18 m.
Bark: Grey-white. (as if white washed) Smooth. Peeling to reveal yellow-green or green surface.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.5 – 3 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 2 – 12.5 × 1 – 6.5 cm. Elliptic. Cuneate/rounded. Acute. Entire. Glabrous or with dense minute tubercules.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White-yellowish. Sweetly scented in lax cymes. Terminal or axillary. Dioecious.
Fruit: Woody endocarp in cupular calyx. 0.8 – 1 × 0.6 cm.
Ecology: Riverine, groundwater and lowland forest.
Distr: C, EA, N. Tropical Eastern and Southeastern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: NR.
Cordia millenii Baker
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkibu gwesimbwa (T).
Bole: Branched/straight/buttressed. Small/large. To 32 m.
Bark: Pale brown, greenish grey/grey-brown. Rough and fibrous. Flaking.
Slash: Pale yellow. Discolouring. Fibrous and layered.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 2.5 – 7.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 9 – 15 × 6 – 11 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Rounded/cordate. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy below.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/yellow. Condensed cymes in large panicles. Sweetly scented.
Fruit: Obovoid, ellipsoid. 2 – 4.4 cm.
Ecology: Lowland and submontane forest.
Distr: LT. West and Central Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is similar to that of C. africana but a bit lighter in weight. It is used for furniture, beehives, tool handles, grain mortars, firewood, drums and water containers. It is also used for shade. Fruits produce glue.
Cordia monoica Roxb.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. ovalis R. Br.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Msasa (Sw).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Grey. Rough/smooth/flaking.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: (0.5 -) 1.2 – 5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. (1 -) 2.5 – 8 (- 11) × (1 -) 2 – 9 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate/rounded. Apiculate/emarginate/acute. Entire/serrate. Hairy.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green-white/pale yellow. Fragrant. Terminal or axillary panicles.
Fruit: Yellow/orange/black. Ovoid 0.9 – 2 cm long, 0.6 – 1.2 cm wide.
Ecology: Riverine, dry montane, dry lowland forest. Dry woodland. Grassland.
Distr: N. Widepread in Africa and Madagascar.
Notes: Very variable. The local name Msasa means sand paper tree.
Uses: The wood is tough and is used for building poles, firewood, bows, withies, walking sticks, clubs and pestles. Fruits are edible. Leaves are used as medicine for eye diseases. The leaves and stem bark are used as medicine for leprosy using a hot bath from leaves and washing the body with a decoction made from pounded bark. The leaves are very coarse and used as sand-paper. Also used as an ornamental tree and as a bee forage.
Cordia sp. E of FTEA
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Black.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.6 – 3 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 1.8 – 13.5 × 1.2 – 6.8 cm. Elliptic. Rounded. Acuminate. Glabrous above/hairy beneath.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cymes in a terminal panicle.
Fruit: Oblong-ovoid, sharply beaked, 1.4 cm long, 0.7 cm wide.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest.
Distr: EA, C.
Notes: Leaves discolorous, black above.
Uses: NR.
Cordia torrei H. F. Martins
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small tree. To 18 m.
Bark: Grey, lenticellate glabrous with distinct nodular petiole bases resembling short spines.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple, alternate.
Petiole: 2 – 4 cm, pubescent channelled above.
Lamina: 6 – 12 × 3 – 9 cm. Acute/obtuse at the apex, +/- cuneate base, 3-nerved from base, discolorous at first, matted to glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Subsessile terminal panicles, white, dioecious.
Fruit: Oblong, ovoid, 1.5 – 1 cm sitting in calycine cup.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest.
Distr: C. Tropical Eastern Africa.
Notes: Only known from a few collections.
Uses: NR.
Ehretia cymosa Thonn.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: E. silvatica Gürke = var. silvatica (Gürke) Brenan, E. divaricata Baker = var. divaricata (Baker) Brenan
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkangalanyabu (H), Mlefu (S), Mnemvu (C).
Bole: Branching/crooked. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Pale brown. Thick with prominent lenticels.
Slash: Soft, even white with orange brown flecks discolouring brown.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.2 – 3.5 cm. Channelled.
Lamina: Medium. 7.5 – 20 × 3.5 – 12 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate/rounded/cordate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous above, slightly hairy beneath. Simple.
Domatia: Present. Hairy tufts.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White, yellow, pink-white. Panicles of corymbose cymes. Fragrant. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Orange, red or black. Ovoid to subglobose 0.2 – 0.6 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry montane and dry lowland forest. Grassland. Thicket.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN. Widespread throughout Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for furniture, firewood, grain mortars, stools, beds, milk pots, wooden spoons, water troughs, drums, tool handles and yokes. The tree is also used for shade in coffee farms. The leaves and roots are known to be poisonous but are used as an aphrodisiac and as medicine for stomach-ache. Leaf juice is styptic and used to heal wounds.
Hilsenbergia nemoralis (Gürke) J. S. Mill.
Syn. FTEA: Bourreria nemoralis (Gürke) Thulin
Syn. TTCL: Ehretia litoralis Gürke
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtundutundu (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 12 m.
Bark: Grey-brown. Smooth/rough and longitudinally fissured.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 5.2 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 1 – 18 × 0.7 – 8 cm. Elliptic/Ovate. Cuneate/rounded/cordate. Acute/acuminate. Hairy beneath.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Glandular hairs.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Axillary cymes. Sweetly scented.
Fruit: Orange-yellow. Globose. 0.6 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Woodland. Thicket.
Distr: C. Tropical Eastern Africa.
Notes: Probably a variety of B. petiolaris, but leaves hairy beneath. The local name Mtundutundu means a hollow-stemmed tree.
Uses: The wood is used for building poles, firewood, tool handles, spoons, canoe pedals and bed-steads.
Hilsenbergia petiolaris (Lam.) J. S. Mill.
Syn. FTEA: Bourreria petiolaris (Lam.) Thulin
Syn. TTCL: Ehertia petiolaris Lam.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtundutundu (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 12 m.
Bark: Grey-brown. Smooth/rough and longitudinally fissured.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 5.2 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 1 – 14.5 × 0.7 – 7.5 cm. Elliptic/Ovate. Cuneate/rounded/cordate. Acute/acuminate. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Axillary cymes. Sweetly scented.
Fruit: Orange-yellow. Globose. 0.6 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Thicket.
Distr: C, EA (P). Tropical Eastern Africa. Madagascar.
Notes: B. petiolaris is very similar to B. nemoralis.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, building poles, tool handles, spoons, canoe pedals, bed-steads and knife sheaths.
Last Updated: 15 June 2017