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FLACOURTIACEAE

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

FLACOURTIACEAE

Aphloia theiformis (Vahl) Benn.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: A. myrtifolia Galp.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mdananda (S), Mhinja (C), Mpile (C), Mpomo (H), Msurungu (C).
Bole: Crooked/straight. Medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Brown, finely fissured.
Slash: Pale yellow with vertical lines.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 cm. Round.
Lamina: Small. 3 – 8 × 1.2 – 2.8 cm. Elliptic/oblong-lanceolate. Cuneate. Acute/obtuse. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Minute. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/yellow. Fragrant. Axillary. Solitary or in few flowered racemes or fasicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: White fleshy berry. 0.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Upper montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LN. Eastern and Southern Africa. Madagascar.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and is used for building poles, withies, tool handles, spoons and combs. The roots are used as medicine for stomach worms. The tree is used for shade and amenity.
Casearia battiscombei R.E. Fr.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kumbiri (C), Moroma (C), Mrikawanda (C), Msarangu (C), Oljaliyan (M), Mlelulelu (H).
Bole: Straight/fluted. Large/small. To 40 m.
Bark: Pale brown. Soft. Scaling in small flakes.
Slash: Orange with cream layers.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.6 – 1 cm. Channelled.
Lamina: Medium. 12 – 22 × 3 – 5 cm. Oblong. Cuneate/rounded. Asymmetrical. Acuminate/obtuse. Serrate/entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present/absent. Pellucid gland dots and dashes in young leaf margins.
Stipules: Small. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green-yellow. Clustered in axillary fasicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Yellow-orange capsule splitting into 2 – 4 valves. 1 – 1.3 cm long. 0.8 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LN. Eastern Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is white, soft and brittle, used for furniture, lorry bodies, boxes, crates, carvings and firewood. The tree is used for shade.
Casearia engleri Gilg
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: Included in Samydaceae in TTCL.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Straight/slightly buttressed. Medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Pale yellow-grey. Smooth/scaling slightly.
Slash: Yellow flecked with white. Wet.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 0.5 (- 6) cm.
Lamina: Medium. 6 – 11 (- 14) × 3 – 5.5 (- 7) cm. Obovate/oblong. Cuneate/rounded. Asymmetric. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Obscure pellucid dots in the leaf margins.
Stipules: Small. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green. Axillary. Fasicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Pale yellow/orange. Ovoid-ellipsoid capsule. 2.5 – 3 (- 3.5) × 1.5 cm.
Ecology: Montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: EA only (South P, WUs).
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for timber and firewood. The tree can be used for shade.
Casearia gladiiformis Mast.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. holtzii Gilg, C. macrodendron Gilg
Syn. other: Included in Samydaceae in TTCL.
Local names: Mdegepa (H).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Grey.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.0 – 1.8 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 10 – 18 × 3 – 7 cm. Ovate/oblong. Cuneate. Asymmetrical. Obtuse/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Circular & linear pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Small. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green/white. Axillary fasicles.
Fruit: Ellipsoid, 1.2 – 1.6 × 0.9 – 1.2 cm in diameter. Orange.
Ecology: Riverine, dry lowland and lowland forest. Secondary.
Distr: C, EA. Eastern and Southern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is white and soft, used for timber which is used for making furniture, boxes, crates, doors and carvings. The tree is used for shade.
Dasylepis integra Warb.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: D. leptophylla Gilg
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Isanga (C), Kigwande (S), Nnyinga (C).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Brown/grey scaling to reveal red/brown patches.
Slash: Red-orange. Discolouring.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 0.7 cm. Channelled.
Lamina: Medium. 8 – 16 × 2.5 – 6 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate/oblong. Cuneate/rounded. Acuminate/obtuse. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Red-pink. Drooping axillary racemes. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Subglobose pale purple capsule splitting into 3 valves. 1.5 – 2 cm. diameter.
Ecology: Montane forest.
Distr: EA, N (Mbulu). Southeast Kenya.
Notes: Flowers with pedicels. Young leaves red.
Uses: The wood is moderately hard and is used for firewood, spoons, beds, stools, tool handles and clubs (rungwe). The tree is used for shade.
Dovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) Warb.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: D. engleri Gilg
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgola (H), Mmango (C).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 10 m.
Bark: Pale grey-brown.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.2 – 0.4 cm. Round.
Lamina: Small. 4 – 9 × 2 – 3.5 cm. Ovate/oblong/elliptic. Cuneate. Obtuse. Entire/serrate. Glabrous/hairy on nerves beneath. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present/absent. Obscure scattered pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Present. Axillary spines 0.5 – 1.5 cm long.
Flower: Green/yellow/white. Axillary fasicles or solitary. Dioecious/monoecious.
Fruit: Yellow-red fleshy berry 2 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LN. Eastern Africa, Socotra.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and used for firewood, tool handles, spoons and beds. The leaves are pounded, soaked in water and taken for indigestion. Roots are used for treating venereal diseases. Fruits are edible.
Flacourtia indica (Burm.f.) Merr.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mchongoma, Mgovigovi (Sw), Mgola (H), Mbilipili (Mt), Msambuchi (C), Mwanga (F).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 10 m.
Bark: Rough.
Slash: White often orange or yellow markings.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 2 cm. Round.
Lamina: Small/medium. 2 – 12 × 2 – 8 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Cuneate/rounded. Obtuse/acuminate/emarginate. Serrate. Glabrous/hairs on midrib beneath. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Branched spines on trunk up to 12 cm long.
Flower: Axillary racemes or solitary. Dioecious/hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Red/red-black fleshy drupe. Globular. To 2.5 cm in diameter with persistent styles.
Ecology: Dry lowland and dry montane forest. Woodland.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical and Southern Africa. Madagascar. Asia, Malesia.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is white, tough and used for firewood, charcoal, spoons, beds and building poles. Leaves are used as medicine for asthma, as a tonic for anaemic persons and for treating screw worms in cattle. Roots are used as medicine for indigestion and stomach pains. The powder made from dried bark is soaked in water with salt and leached to produce a medicine for treating sore throats and coughs. The fruits are edible.
Homalium longistylum Mast.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: H. calodendron Gilg
Syn. other: Included in Samydaceae in TTCL.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Straight. Large/small. To 30 m.
Bark: Grey/white. Smooth/rough. Hard. Branch scars on trunk.
Slash: Yellow/orange/brown. Granular.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.6 – 1 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 7 – 14 × 4 – 7 cm. Oblong/elliptic/ovate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Present.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/green. Axillary racemes.
Fruit: NR.
Ecology: Riverine, dry lowland and submontane forest. Forest edge.
Distr: C, EA. Eastern, Central and Western Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal and tool handles.
Kiggelaria africana L.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: K. serrata Warb., K. grandifolia Warb., K. hylophila Gilg, K. glabrata Gilg, K. flavo-velutina Sleumer
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mguluka (H).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 13 m.
Bark: Pale/dark grey. Smooth.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.5 cm. Round.
Lamina: Small. 3.5 – 9 × 2 – 5 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate. Cuneate/rounded. Acute/obtuse. Entire/serrate. Hairy/occasionally glabrous. Yellow. Stellate/simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Yellow-green. Axillary cyme-like racemes or solitary. Dioecious.
Fruit: Leathery yellow-green globose capsule with 2 – 5 valves. Seeds with a bright orange-red aril.
Ecology: Upper montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LN. Eastern and Southern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is pink, moderately hard and used for furniture, rafters, tool handles and boards. It also produces a pink dye and hydrocyanic acid from various parts of the tree. The tree is also believed to attract lightning and to provide protection to cattle kraals.
Ludia mauritiana J. F. Gmel.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mfuwate (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Grey.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.2 – 0.8 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 3 – 9 × 2 – 4 cm. Oblong/elliptic/obovate. Cuneate/emarginate. Obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present, impressed on the lower half of the leaf.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/yellow. Axillary/in clusters on stem.
Fruit: Reddish. Globular with warts. 1 – 1.5 cm wide.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Thicket.
Distr: C, EA, N. Eastern Tropical Africa. Madagascar.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and is used for building poles, charcoal, tool handles, bedsteads, and spoons.
Oncoba spinosa Forssk.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Branched. Small. To 10 m.
Bark: Thick and rough.
Slash: White with yellow lines, discolouring.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.6 – 1 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 3.5 – 14 × 2 – 7 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate. Acuminate. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Present. Axillary spines up to 7 cm long.
Flower: White. Fragrant. Solitary. Axillary or terminal on short side shoots. Hermaphrodite/monoecious.
Fruit: Globose. 5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Riverine forest, forest edges. Thicket.
Distr: C, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical and Southern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and heavy, used for poles, firewood and handles. Fruits are sometimes eaten. Fruit shells are used as snuff containers.
Oncoba welwitschii Oliv.
Syn. FTEA: Caloncoba welwitschii (Oliv.) Gilg
Syn. TTCL: Caloncoba gigantocarpa Perkins & Gilg, Caloncoba grotei Gilg ex Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mjambegha (S).
Bole: Straight/crooked. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey/brown.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. At ends of branches.
Petiole: 4 – 12 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 10 – 28 × 8 – 20 cm. Ovate. Cordate/cuneate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous. Papery.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Large. 2.5 cm long. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Axillary fasicles or on older branches.
Fruit: Spiny capsule. Elliptic/subglobular. 7 – 10 × 4 – 6 cm.
Ecology: Riverine, submontane and montane forest.
Distr: C, EA, LN. Eastern, Central and Western Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal, tool handles, stools, spoons and mortars. The tree is used for shade and ornamental purposes.
Rawsonia lucida Harv. & Sond.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: R. schlechteri Gilg, R. usambarensis Engl. & Gilg
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kigwande (S).
Bole: Straight/branched. Medium/small. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey. Scaling to reveal red/brown patches.
Slash: Thin yellow or brown, discolouring.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.2 cm. Channelled.
Lamina: Medium. 7 – 16 × 2.5 – 6 cm. Lanceolate/oblong. Cuneate. Acuminate. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Small. Oblong. 0.5 – 0.7 cm. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pink. Axillary spike-like dense racemes. Hermaphrodite/monoecious.
Fruit: Globose, yellow, berry-like when first ripe, later splitting into 3 – 5 sections. 2 – 2.5 × 0.3 – 0.6 cm.
Ecology: Lowland and upland rain forest, dry evergreen forest.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LV. Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa.
Notes: Spikes densely arranged. Peduncle 0.2 – 0.6 cm. Flowers with short pedicles, otherwise similar to Dasylepis in bark and leaf.
Uses: The wood is hard and heavy and used for firewood, charcoal, walking sticks, tool handles and spoons. Fruits are edible.
Rawsonia reticulata Gilg
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: R. ulugurensis Sleumer
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kigwande (S).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 10 m.
Bark: Grey. Scaling to reveal red/brown patches.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 0.7 cm.
Lamina: Medium. (7 -) 10 – 14 × 2.5 – 6.5 cm. Oblong/elliptic-oblong. Cuneate/rounded. Acuminate. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: NR.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pink. Axillary spike-like racemes. Hermaphrodite/monoecious.
Fruit: Ovoid-subglobose. 2 – 3 cm long, 1.3 – 2 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: EA, LN, LT. Malawi.
Notes: Spikes with long slender peduncle 4.5 – 7 cm long. Dentation on the leaves is usually less sharp than R. lucida.
Uses: The wood is hard, heavy and tough, used for firewood, charcoal, tool handles, pestles, spoons and walking sticks.
Scolopia rhamniphylla Gilg
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: S. guerkeana Volk. ex Gilg
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgovigovi (Sw), Mgola (H).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 12 m.
Bark: Pale brown/grey. Smooth/rough.
Slash: Soft and thick, pink to purple red.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 1 cm. Round.
Lamina: Small. Ovate/oblong/lanceolate/elliptic. Cuneate. Acuminate/acute. Serrate. Glabrous/slightly hairy on midrib and nerves.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Small. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Present. Axillary spines up to 6 cm long, sometimes on trunk, up to 15 cm long.
Flower: Axillary racemes/fasicles, solitary or in pairs. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Subglobose fleshy red berry. 0.6 – 0.7 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Riverine, montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LV. West, Central, and Eastern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and is used for firewood, charcoal, poles, tool handles and yokes. Fruits are edible. The tree is important for bee forage.
Scolopia stolzii Gilg
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: S. riparia Mildbr. & Sleumer
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgovigovi (Sw), Mgola (H).
Bole: To 10 m.
Bark: Pale brown/smooth flaking.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.2 – 0.7 cm.
Lamina: 5 – 7 × 3 – 5.5 cm. Elliptic/ovate/oblong. Cuneate/rounded. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire/serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Small. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Solitary in the upper axils, sessile or subsessile. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Subglobose, fleshy red. Glabrous/sparsely hairy. 2 – 2.5 cm wide.
Ecology: Riverine, dry lowland and dry montane forest.
Distr: C, EA, LN. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Two varieties.
Uses: The wood is hard and used for tool handles, poles, firewood, charcoal and yokes. The fruits are edible.
Scolopia theifolia Gilg
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgovigovi (Sw).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Grey-white. Smooth.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.2 – 0.5 cm.
Lamina: Small. (2.5 -) 3.5 – 6.5 (- 8) × (1.2 -) 1.7 – 2.7 (- 4) cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate. Obtuse. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Small. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary fascicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Red. Berry. Oblong-ovoid. 1 cm long, 0.7 diameter.
Ecology: Dry montane forest. Woodland.
Distr: EA, N, LN. Eastern and North-eastern Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal, poles and tool handles. Fruits are edible. The tree is used for shade.
Trimeria grandifolia (Hochst.) Warb. subsp.tropica (Burkill) Sleumer
Syn. FTEA: NC
Syn. TTCL: T. tropica Burkhill, T. bakeri Gilg
Syn. other: Included in Samydaceae in TTCL.
Local names: Mbani (Sw).
Bole: Branched/straight. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey/brown. Thin, flaking.
Slash: Soft, cream. Wood white.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.6 – 1 cm. Round.
Lamina: Medium. 2.5 – 8.5 × 2.5 – 7.5 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Rounded/cordate. (3 -) 5 – 9 nerved. Acuminate/obtuse. Serrate. Hairy/glabrous. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. Like small leaves 0.3 – 1 × 0.2 – 1.8 cm.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary racemes. Dioecious.
Fruit: Capsule. 3-valved. 2.5 – 3.5 cm long.
Ecology: Riverine, dry montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LV. Eastern, Central and WesternTropical Africa.
Notes: Subsp. grandifolia is southern African.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood and tool handles. The roots are used for treating venereal disease, swollen scrotum and testicles. The gum from the bark is used for treating wounds and as incense.
Last Updated: 17 June 2017