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MYRTACEAE

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

MYRTACEAE

Eugenia bukobensis Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small to 9 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.3 – 0.4 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 2.5 – 9.0 × 1.3 – 5.0 cm. Elliptic/elliptic-lanceolate. Cuneate. Subacuminate/rounded. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green/white/pink. Fasicles in leaf axils.
Fruit: Bright yellow/red-brown. Ellipsoid, 1.0 – 1.2 × 0.7 – 1.0 cm, born in clusters.
Ecology: Swamp forest, lakeside forest, woodland.
Distr: LT, LV. Western Kenya, Southern Uganda.
Notes: NR.
Uses: NR.
Eugenia capensis (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Sond. subsp. multiflora Verdc.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkangaa (Sw), Mshiwi (S).
Bole: Small. To 7.5 m.
Bark: Grey-brown or brown. Smooth to fissured and flaking.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.2 – 0.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 2.5 – 13.0 × 1.5 – 7.0 cm. Oblanceolate/elliptic. Rounded/cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green/white. Fascicles in leaf axils.
Fruit: Red/purple/blue-black. Ellipsoid/round, 0.5 – 1.3 × 0.5 – 1.5 cm, born in clusters.
Ecology: Riverine, dry lowland, coastal thicket, mangrove swamp edges.
Distr: C. Coastal Kenya and Mozambique.
Notes: Subsp. capensis occurs in South Africa and Southern Mozambique.
Uses: The wood is white, hard and heavy. It is used for firewood, charcoal, poles and spoons.
Eugenia mufindiensis Verdc.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small. To 3 m.
Bark: Reddish brown, slightly flaky.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.15 – 0.25 cm.
Lamina: Small. 0.7 – 3.3 × 0.5 – 2.3 cm. Elliptic/narrowly elliptic. Rounded. Subacute/rounded. Entire. Few hairs on midrib beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Purplish green/white/pink. Fascicles in leaf axils.
Fruit: Pink or red. Ellipsoid, 0.9 × 0.7 cm, born in clusters.
Ecology: Montane forest.
Distr: EA only (Udz).
Notes: NR.
Uses: NR.
Eugenia toxanatolica Verdc.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mganda, Mlama mweupe (P).
Bole: Small/medium. To 15 m.
Bark: Brown, smooth.
Slash: Brown, paler towards wood.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.5 – 0.8 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 2.5 – 13.0 × 1.5 – 5.5 cm. Elliptic. Cuneate. Rounded/obtuse/acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Fascicles in leaf axils.
Fruit: Reddish/nearly black. Ellipsoid/obpyriform, 0.6 – 1.8 × 0.7 – 1.3 cm, born in clusters.
Ecology: Montane forest.
Distr: EA only (WUs, South P, Ma, Udz). May occur in Malawi.
Notes: NR.
Uses: NR.
Syzygium congolense Vermoesen ex Amshoff
Syn FTEA: NC.
Syn TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Omunuma (Ha), Kalunginsanvu (Ga).
Bole: Medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: Cream, grey, or reddish brown. Thin and smooth.
Slash: Dark brown, reddish, or white.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.6 – 0.9 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 3.5 – 16.0 × 1.5 – 6.5 cm. Elliptic/oblong/obovate. Cuneate. Rounded/apiculate /shortly acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Terminal cymes.
Fruit: Globose. Purple. 1.0 – 1.6 cm diameter.
Ecology: Swamp forest, rain forest at lake edges.
Distr: LV. Uganda, Central and West Central Africa.
Notes: Can be distinguished from S. guineense by frequently 4-angled young branches and imbricate calyx lobes.
Uses: NR.
Syzygium cordatum Hochst.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Msu (F), Mpengele (Ny), Mzati (Za), Mugege (Ha), Mlama (P), Mshihwi (S), Mzambarau-ziwa (Sw), Mvengi (H).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 20 m.
Bark: Dark brown. Rough/fissured.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: Nearly sessile or to 0.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 2.3 – 13.5 × 2 – 7 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Cordate/subcordate/rounded/broadly cuneate. Rounded/obtuse/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent. Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pink, sweetly scented. Terminal cymes.
Fruit: Purple, fleshy, ovoid.
Ecology: Riverine, groundwater, lowland, montane, upper montane and dry montane forest. Usually near water.
Distr: C, EA, LN, LT, LV. Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.
Notes: Two subspecies: stems quadrangular and leaves distinctly cordate in subsp. cordatum, stems somewhat square and leaves subcordate to broadly cuneate in subsp. shimbaense Verdc.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, firewood, charcoal, spoons, stools, beehives and canoes. The fruits are edible. Roots or bark are boiled and the decoction taken for indigestion.
Syzygium guineense (Willd.) DC. subsp. afromontanum F. White
Syn. FTEA: NC
Syn. TTCL: S. guineense (Willd.) DC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mlama (P), Muhulo (G), Mlalambo (F), Lusangabale (T), Nkolo (Mt), Msalazi (L), Mzambarau mwitu, Msuari (Sw), Mshihwi (S), Mvengi (H).
Bole: Straight. Large. To 40 m.
Bark: Pale brown. Flaking in patches with “shell marks”.
Slash: Brown. Fibrous.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.8 – 2.2 cm. Round to angled. Narrowly channeled above.
Lamina: Small/medium. 5.5 × 2 – 13 × 4 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present/absent. Translucent dots in leaf lamina.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Many flowered terminal or axillary cymes. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Purple-black subglobose berry 1.8 × 1.5 cm.
Ecology: Submontane, montane, upper montane, dry montane and riverine forests.
Distr: EA, N, LN, LT. Eastern, Central, and Southern Tropical Africa.
Notes: There are four subspecies recognised for S. guineense: subsp. afromontanum has a long acumen and usually grows in forests, subsp. guineense has a short acumen and usually grows in woodland. In contrast, subsp. huillense (Hiern) F. White is a distinct geoxylic suffrutex (shrublet with stems mostly underground) on the edges of dambos, and subsp. macrocarpum (Engl.) F. White is a fire-resistant tree or shrub of woodland and seasonally wet grassland.
Uses: Pale-brown, hard and heavy wood. It is used for furniture. panelling, sleepers, flooring strips, poles, tool handles, stools and carvings. The tree is also used for fodder, bee forage, tannin and shade. The fruits are edible. The powder from pounded bark is soaked in water and taken for treating stomach-ache and as a purgative and for stomach worms. Roots are used by the WaShambaa to treat epilepsy.
Syzygium masukuense (Baker) R.E. Fr. subsp. masukuense
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mvengi (H), Mzambarau-mwitu, Mzuari (Sw).
Bole: Medium. To 15 m.
Bark: Dark grey. Scaling.
Slash: Brown. Thick and fibrous.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.2 – 1.0 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 4.5 – 11.0 × 2.5 – 5.0 cm. Lanceolate-elliptic/elliptic. Acuminate. Rounded/cordate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Many flowered terminal or axillary cymes. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Purple, fleshy, ovoid.
Ecology: Montane, upper montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: EA (Udz), LN, LT. Malawi, Zimbabwe.
Notes: Despite its narrower leaves with distinctively acuminate apices, S. masukuense may be conspecific with S. micklethwaitii, in which case the latter would have to be treated as a subspecies of S. masukuense, which is much the older name.
Uses: Used for timber, tool handles, stools, spoons, fodder, shade and avenue. Fruits are edible.
Syzygium micklethwaitii Verdc.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: S. sclerophyllum Brenan.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mshihwi (S), Mzambarau-mwitu, Mzuari (Sw), Mlama (P).
Bole: Medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: Dark brown. Flaking.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.1 – 0.5 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 1 – 8 × 1 – 6 cm. Elliptic/almost round. Cuneate/rounded/subcordate. Rounded/obtuse/shortly acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pinkish. Terminal cymes.
Fruit: Subglobose. Purple-black. 0.8 – 1.6 × 0.7 – 1.4 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: EA only (Te, WUs, South P, SNg, Ul).
Notes: Two subspecies are recognised: subsp. micklethwaitii with elliptic leaves and slender petioles, and subsp. subcordatum Verdc. with rounded leaves and short, stout petioles.
Uses: It is used for timber, poles tool handles, wooden spoons, grain mortars, fodder shade and amenity. The fruits are edible.
Syzygium owariense (P. Beauv.) Benth.
Syn FTEA: NC.
Syn TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: Grey. Smooth or rough and flaky.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 0.5 – 2.4 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 4.5 – 14.0 × 2.4 – 6.0 cm. Ovate/ovate-lanceolate. Rounded/truncate/broadly cuneate. Narrowly acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/purplish green. Terminal cymes.
Fruit: Urceolate. Purple-black. 0.9 – 1.8 × 0.4 – 0.9 cm.
Ecology: Swamp forest.
Distr: EA (Udz), LT. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Rare in East Africa, otherwise known only from southern Uganda. Can be distinguished from S. guineense by frequent presence of stilt-roots.
Uses: NR.
Last Updated: 18 June 2017