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
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mpapai-mwitu (Sw), Mtonto (S). Bole: Straight. Hollow. Medium/large. To 35 m.
Bark: Pale brown/dark green-grey. Smooth. With prickles.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Palmate with 3 – 5 lobes. Whorled at ends of branches.
Petiole: 45 cm.
Lamina: Large. 25 × 35 cm. Palmate. Ovate in outline. Cordate. Apiculate. Entire. Glabrous/slightly hairy.
Thorns & Spines: Short straight prickles.
Flower: Pale yellow/pale green. Axillary panicles or racemes. Dioecious.
Fruit: Green-yellow. Fleshy 5-angled berry 8 cm long with numerous seeds like a small pawpaw.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest. Pioneer.
Distr: EA, LN. Kenya, Malawi.
Notes: The local name Mpapai-mwitu means wild paw paw.
Uses: The wood is soft and fibrous, used for beehives and water pots. The tree is used for shade, bee forage and ornamental purposes. The bark is used as medicine for the treatment of venereal diseases, stomach-ache, abdominal pains and intestinal worms.