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OLACACEAE

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

OLACACEAE

Olax dissitiflora Oliv.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtungapwezi (Sw)
Bole: Small. To 12 m.
Bark: Grey. Smooth.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple, alternate.
Petiole: 0.2 – 0.8 cm.
Lamina: Small. 3 – 6 × 0.8 – 3 cm. Lanceolate/elliptic. Round/cuneate. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Axillary in short racemes.
Fruit: Drupe, ellipsoid/ovoid, reddish when mature. 0.7 – 0.9 cm long.
Ecology: Riverine and dry lowland forest.
Distr: C, EA, LN. South-eastern Africa. Madagascar, Comoros.
Notes: NR.
Uses: Used for firewood, poles, tool handles and ornamental purposes.
Olax obtusifolia De Wild.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Pale grey. Finely wrinkled/rough.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.1 – 0.3 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 4 – 9 × 2 – 4 cm. Ovate/lanceolate. Cuneate. Acute/obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/cream/green. Axillary racemes.
Fruit: Orange globose drupe. 1 – 2.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland, lowland, submontane and montane forest.
Distr: C, EA, LN. Central and South Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: A good ornamental and shade tree, also used for firewood, poles, and handles for domestic tools.
Strombosia scheffleri Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: S. minor Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Msangana (S).
Bole: Straight/slightly fluted and buttressed. Medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: Grey. Flaking off to reveal lighter patches.
Slash: Red/brown with green edge. Fibrous.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1 – 3 cm. Channeled.
Lamina: Medium. 6 – 38 × 4 – 10 cm. Oblong/ellipitc. Cuneate/rounded. Acute. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pale yellow. Axillary, fasiculate.
Fruit: Black, ellipsoid. 2.3 × 1.2 cm. With a circular depression at the apex.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is reddish brown, hard and heavy. It’s timber is used for sleepers, bridges, furniture, and flooring strips. It is also used for firewood, charcoal, tool handles, stools, spoons and grain mortars.
Last Updated: 18 June 2017