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MYRSINACEAE

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

MYRSINACEAE

Maesa lanceolata Forssk.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Katunula (T), Mriro (C), Mruwe (C), Mtelepa (F), Ngesi (C), Mdami (S), Mtandu (H).
Bole: Fluted/branched. Small/medium. To 24 m.
Bark: Brown/grey. Smooth/rough.
Slash: Pink with white streaks discolouring orange brown. Soft. Occasionally with orange-red exudate.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.4 – 4 cm. Rounded to channeled.
Lamina: Medium/small. 6 – 22 × 2 – 11 cm. Elliptic/oblong/lanceolate. Cuneate/rounded. Acuminate/mucronate. Serrate. Glabrous/hairy beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present/absent. Gland dots or streaks in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pale yellow. Infloresence: much branched axillary panicle. Hermaphrodite/monoecious.
Fruit: Yellow-brown/red. Globose berry. 0.3 – 0.6 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Montane, upper montane and dry montane forests. Forest edge.
Distr: EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical and Southern Africa. Madagascar. Arabian Peninsula.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal and tool handles. The fruits or seeds are used as medicine for stomach worms. Roots are used for stomach-ache, jaundice and sore throat.
Myrsine melanophloeos (L.) R.Br.
Syn. FTEA: Rapanea melanophloeos (L.) Mez
Syn. TTCL: Rapanea gracilior Mildbr., Rapanea pulchra Gilg & Schellenb., Rapanea rhododendroides (Gilg) Mez, Rapanea schliebenii Mildbr., Rapanea ulugurensis (Gilg) Mez, Rapanea usambarensis Gilg & Schellenb.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mlimang’ombe (C), Mpango (F), Msankafya (T), Msangabale (T), Mkangalashamba (Sw), Mnyalati (H).
Bole: Straight. Occasionally fluted. Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Grey/brown. Smooth/fissured.
Slash: Red/brown with white lines. Hard.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate/whorled at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.2 – 3.5 cm. Winged/channeled.
Lamina: Medium/small. 2.4 – 20 × 1 – 7 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present/absent. Black resinous streaks.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/yellow/green/pink. Infloresence axillary clusters of 3 – 12 flowers on short shoots below leaves. Hermaphrodite or functionally female.
Fruit: Globose. Pink, blue, purple, white. 0.7 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Occasionally dry lowland, usually montane, upper montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical and Southern Africa. Madagascar.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is attractive, heavy and hard. It makes good timber for furniture, joinery cabinets and flooring strips. The bark is used as an expectorant and emetic.
Last Updated: 18 June 2017