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LAURACEAE

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

LAURACEAE

Beilschmiedia kweo (Mildr.) Robyns & R. Wilczek
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: Tylostemon kweo Mildbr.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mfimbo, Mkweo (S).
Bole: Straight. Large. To 30 m.
Bark: Pale brown/grey. Flaking in large scales.
Slash: Pink/red. Smooth. Soft. Watery exudate.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate/opposite.
Petiole: 1.7 – 2 cm.
Lamina: Medium. (10-) 11.5 – 18 (- 22) × 4 – 9 (- 11) cm. Oblong/elliptic. Cuneate/rounded. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Dark red. Axillary panicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Ellipsoid. 3.4 – 5 cm long, 1.5 – 2.5 cm wide.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest.
Distr: EA (EUs, Ng, Udz) only.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is olive-green, hard and used as furniture timber. It is also used for flooring strips, panelling, veneers, gun stocks, firewood and tool handles.
Beilschmiedia ugandensis Rendle var. ugandensis
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mwasa, Nakiragara (Ga).
Bole: Small/medium. To 27 m.
Bark: Flaking in patches.
Slash: Red to yellow near wood. Fibrous. Pitted. Watery exudate.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate/opposite.
Petiole: 0.6 – 1.3 cm.
Lamina: Elliptic/elliptic-oblong. 2.5 – 17 (- 19) × 1.5 – 8.5 cm. Cuneate/rounded. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Brown-yellow/pink. Axillary panicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Purple/black with dark red juice. Ellipsoid/elongate. 2.5 – 4 cm long, 1.4 – 2 cm wide.
Ecology: Riverine, groundwater forest.
Distr: LT, LV. Central Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for timber firewood and tool handles.
Cryptocarya liebertiana Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: The name C. liebertiana has been applied to C. transvaalensis in southern Africa.
Local names: Mtonte (S).
Bole: Medium. To 18 m.
Bark: Black/brown. Smooth.
Slash: Brown. Hard. Wet toward wood.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate/opposite.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1 cm. Red.
Lamina: Small/medium. 2.3 – 13.5 × 1.1 – 7.5 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate/rounded. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Yellow/green. Axillary panicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Black. Subglobose. 1.6 – 2 cm long, 1.3 – 1.5 cm wide.
Ecology: Submontane, montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: EA, LN. Malawi.
Notes: 3-nerved from just above the leaf base. Leaf underside glaucous. Closely related to the 3-nerved C. latifolia Sond. and the pinnately nerved C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy from Southern Africa.
Uses: The wood is light-coloured hard and tough. It is used for firewood, tool handles and spoons. The tree is used for shade and ornamental purposes.
Ocotea kenyensis (Chiov.) Robyns & Wilczek
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkanfa, Mkulo (S).
Bole: Straight. Medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: Grey/dark brown. Rough/scaly.
Slash: Yellow brown.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.6 (- 2) cm. Channelled.
Lamina: Medium/small. (4.5 -) 6.5 – 20 × 2 – 9.5 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate/rounded. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green-white/yellow-white. Fragrant. Axillary cymes/terminal panicles. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Grey-green. Oblong-ellipsoid drupe in a cup. 1.7 – 2.7 cm long. 0.8 – 1.4 cm wide.
Ecology: Montane and upper montane forests.
Distr: EA, LV. Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.
Notes: Leaves not whitish beneath. Usually glabrous. Fruit cups 1 – 1.2 cm wide. A variable species. Populations in the West Usambara may be distinct.
Uses: The wood is used for timber which is suitable for furniture, joinery, panelling, veneers and gun stocks. The tree is used for shade.
Ocotea usambarensis Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkanfa, Mkulo (S), Mseri (C), East African Camphor (E).
Bole: Straight/leaning. Large. To 35 m.
Bark: Red/brown. Flaking.
Slash: Pink. Fibrous. Camphor smell.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite/alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 2.2 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 5 – 12 × 3 – 5 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green/white/yellow. Axillary panicles. Hermaphrodite/monoecious.
Fruit: Ellipsoid drupe in a cup, 1 cm long 0.6 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Submontane, montane and upper montane forests.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN. Central and Eastern Tropical Africa.
Notes: Leaves usually white beneath. Fruit cups 0.4 – 0.6 cm wide. Uses: Camphorwood is one of the best utility hardwoods. It is mainly used for furniture but also for house constructions, joinery, vehicle building, boat building, ship fittings and flooring strips. The bark and roots are pounded, mixed with a little water and rubbed on the skin to cure body swellings including boils, tumours and tonsilitis. The bark is boiled and the liquid is drunk to cure convulsions in babies. The roots are pounded, soaked in water and taken for headache and malaria. The inner bark of this tree with those of Morella salicifolia and Brucea antidysenterica are taken in meat soup for measles, swellings, abscess and whooping cough. The tree is used for shade.
Ocotea sp. = Ruffo & Kisena 2809
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Large. To 35 m.
Bark: Grey. Flaking.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: NR.
Lamina: Medium. 9.5 × 6.5 cm. Elliptic. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: NR.
Fruit: NR.
Ecology: Upper montane forest.
Distr: LT (Mbizi).
Notes: Only known from a few leaves.
Uses: The wood is used for timber and firewood.
Last Updated: 17 June 2017