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MELIANTHACEAE

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

MELIANTHACEAE

Bersama abyssinica Fresen. subsp. abyssinica
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: B. erythrocarpa v. Brehm., B. goetzei Gürke, B. holstii Gürke, B. jaegeri Gilg & v. Brehm., B. suffruticosa v. Brehm., B. ussanguensis v. Brehm., B. volkensii Gürke
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtata (Sw), Mbamba (S), Mbatsamono (H), Mwangawakwao (Sw), Nakanchete (F), Sinyesha (T), Wowosa (C).
Bole: Crooked/straight. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey/brown/pale brown. Rough. Corky.
Slash: Orange/Brown with white reticulate streaks on pale brown. Outer part mottled brown. Wet.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate, 6 – 10 pairs of leaflets. Alternate. Lflt: Opposite/alternate.
Petiole: 4 – 8 cm. Channeled.
Lamina: Small/medium. 5 – 13 × 2 – 6 cm. Lanceolate/oblong. Cuneate/cordate. Acuminate/apiculate. Entire/serrate. Glabrous/hairy. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Large. Fused with petiole.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pale yellow. Terminal racemes. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Red/pink grooved round smooth capsule. 1 – 2 cm long. Seeds bright red with pale yellow aril.
Ecology: Lowland, submontane, montane, upper montane forest. Forest edge.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Eastern Africa, Rwanda, Burundi.
Notes: Rachis without wings.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, firewood, charcoal, domestic utensils and beehives. The tree is important for shade, avenue and bee forage.
Bersama abyssinica Fresen. subsp. paullinioides (Planch.) Verdc.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: B. deiningeri v. Brehm., B. deneckeana v. Brehm, B. engleriana Gürke, B. faucicola Gilg & v. Brehm., B. myriantha Gilg & v. Brehm., B. paullinioides (Planch.) Baker, B. usambarica Gürke
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mwangwakwao (Sw), Nakanchete (F), Wowosa (C), Sinyesha (T), Mtata (Sw), Mbamba (S), Mbatsamono (H).
Bole: Crooked/straight. Small/medium. To 24 m.
Bark: Grey/brown. Rough.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Odd-pinnate, 6 – 10 pairs of leaflets. Alternate. Lflt: Opposite.
Petiole: Rachis widely winged.
Lamina: Small/medium. 22 × 8 cm. Lanceolate/oblong. Cuneate/cordate. Acuminate/apiculate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Large.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cream/white. Terminal racemes.
Fruit: Capsule. Smooth reddish pink.
Ecology: Lowland, montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Capsule larger than subspecies abyssinica. Rachis winged.
Uses: Used for timber, charcoal, firewood, domestic utensils, beehives, water containers and stools. It is also used for bee forage, shade and avenue.
Last Updated: 18 June 2017