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BURSERACEAE

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

BURSERACEAE

Canarium madagascariense Engl. subsp. madagascariense
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. liebertianum Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mbani, Mpafu (Sw).
Bole: Straight. Large.
Bark: Grey. Rough.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate. 50 cm long. Lflts: 9 – 11 (- 19).
Petiole: 5 cm. Petiolules: 1.1 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 15 (- 18) × 4 (- 5.5) cm. Oblong. Cordate. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy below.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Panicles.
Fruit: Purple. Ellipsoid. 4cm long, 2 cm wide.
Ecology: Submontane forests. Pioneer.
Distr: C, EA (WUs). Mozambique, Madagascar.
Notes: The local name Mbani means incense tree.
Uses: The wood is soft and used for timber, firewood, charcoal and veneer. The tree is used as an ornamental and for shade. The bark produces resin which is used for incense. Fruits are edible.
Canarium schweinfurthii Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mbani, Mpafu (Sw).
Bole: Straight. Large. To 40 m.
Bark: Grey. Rough.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate. 50 cm long. Lflts: 17 – 25 (- 45).
Petiole: 5 cm. Petiolules: 0.1 – 0.6 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 15 (- 18) × 4 (- 5.5) cm. Oblong. Cordate. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy below.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Panicles.
Fruit: Purple. Ellipsoid. 4cm long, 2 cm wide.
Ecology: Submontane forests. Pioneer.
Distr: LT, LV. West and Central Africa, Uganda.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is soft and used for timber, firewood, charcoal and veneer. The tree is used for ornamental and shade. The bark produces resin which is used for incense. Fruits are edible.
Commiphora eminii Engl. subsp. subsp. trifololiata (Engl.) J. B. Gillett
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: Spondiopsis trifoliolata Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mnyakwa (Sw).
Bole: Small/medium. To 18 m.
Bark: Grey. Smooth.
Slash: White, turning purple. Aromatic.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate. 3 (- 5) lfts.
Petiole: 7 cm.
Lamina: Small. 8 × 3 cm. Lanceolate/oblong-lanceolate. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire/serrate. Glabrous/slightly hairy.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary paniculate cymes. Appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Globose/ellipsoid. 1.2 – 1.4 × 1.0 – 1.2 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland and montane forest. Forest edge.
Distr: C, EA, N. Kenya.
Notes: NR.
Uses: Wood is used for wooden spoons carvings, cups, water pots, milk pots, bee hives and stools. The tree is planted as a live fence and for boundary marking. Leaves as used for fodder.
Commiphora eminii Engl. subsp. subsp. zimmermannii (Engl.) J. B. Gillett
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. zimmermannii Engl., C. puguensis Engl., C. kyimbilensis Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mnyakwa (Sw)
Bole: Fluted. Small/medium. To 18 m.
Bark: Grey/brown. Smooth.
Slash: White, turning purple. Aromatic.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate. (3 -) 5 – 7 (- 11) lfts. Alternate. Lflt: Opposite.
Petiole: 7 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 8 × 5 cm. Lanceolate/oblong-lanceolate. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire/serrate. Glabrous/slightly hairy.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary paniculate cymes. Appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Globose/ellipsoid. 1.2 – 1.4 × 1.0 – 1.2 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland and lowland forest. Forest edge.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT. Tropical Eastern and Southeastern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for carvings, bee hives, water pots, firewood, milk pots, stools, drums and wooden spoons. The tree is used for shade in coffee farms, boundary marking and live fences. Leaves are used for fodder. Roots and bark are used as medicine for stomach-ache, abdominal pain, indigestion, snake bites and preventing abortion.
Commiphora fulvotomentosa Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. sp. near C. trollii Mattick
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mponda (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 12 m.
Bark: Red/grey. Smooth/papery/horizontally folded.
Slash: Clear scented resin.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate. 5 – 15 leaflets. Alternate. Clustered at ends of branches. Lflt: Opposite.
Petiole: 4 – 5 cm. Petiolule: Under 1 mm long.
Lamina: Small. 7 × 3 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Rounded/obtuse. Acuminate/acute. Crenate/serrate. Hairy.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent/branched spines present on the stem.
Flower: Axillary clusters. Appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Flattened, ellipsoid. Puberulous or glabrescent. Pericarp 2-valved.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Woodland.
Distr: C. Mozambique.
Notes: The local name Mponda means a soft tree.
Uses: The wood is soft and is used for carvings, wooden spoons, water pots and beehives. The tree is used for making live fences and for boundary marking.
Commiphora serrata Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. serrata Engl. var. multipinnata Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mponda (Sw).
Bole: Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Green. Smooth.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate. 9 – 17 leaflets. Alternate. Lflt: Opposite.
Petiole: Up to 3 cm. Petiolule: Lateral leaflets: 0.5 – 1 mm. Terminal leaflet: up to 7 mm long.
Lamina: Small. 5 × 1 cm. Lanceolate/oblong. Cuneate. Asymmetrical. Acute/acuminate. Finely serrate. Hairy/glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Spines on branches.
Flower: Red/green-yellow. In cymes. Appearing with or before leaves.
Fruit: Globose/ellipsoid, with succulent pericarp. 20 – 23 × 20 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Woodland. Thicket.
Distr: C. Mozambique.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The tree is used as a live fence and for boundary and grave marks. The resin is used for glueing spear and arrow handles, and for incense.
Last Updated: 15 June 2017