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PITTOSPORACEAE

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

PITTOSPORACEAE

Pittosporum abyssinicum Delile
Syn. FTEA: P. lanatum Hutch. & Bruce
Syn. TTCL: P. fulvo-tomentosum Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mpande (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 15 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Leaves crowded at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 4.5 – 8 × 1.5 – 3.5 cm. Oblong-lanceolate. Cuneate/rounded. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Terminal.
Fruit: Round capsule. 0.9 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Upper montane forest. Thicket.
Distr: N, LN. Eastern and Central Africa.
Notes: Differs from P. viridiflorum in denser, more coriaceous leaves, hairy sepals and thick valves to the capsule.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal, spoons, and stools. The infusion of the bark being a purgative and an emetic is used by the Kipsigis for treating malaria.
Pittosporum goetzei Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mponde (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 10 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Crowded at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.3 cm.
Lamina: Small. 4 – 6.5 × 1.3 – 2.7 cm. Obovate. Cuneate. Obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White. Terminal panicles.
Fruit: Round capsule . Up to 1.0 – 1.3 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Upper montane forest.
Distr: EA only (Ul).
Notes: Leaves subsessile. Flowers large.
Uses: Suitable for firewood, tool handles, stools and spoons. The tree is used for amenity and shade.
Pittosporum viridiflorum Sims
Syn. FTEA: P. lynesii Cuf., P. mannii Hook.f., P. spathicalyx De Wild.
Syn. TTCL: P. malosanum Baker
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kamsunga (T), Mpande (Sw), Mpeeta (H).
Bole: Straight. Medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Pale to dark grey/brownish. Smooth.
Slash: Whitish. Scented.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Crowded at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.5 – 2 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 5 – 18 × 2 – 4.5 cm. Ovate/oblong/lanceolate. Cuneate. Rounded/acuminate. Entire. Hairy/glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent. Pittosporum viridiflorum
Flower: Infloresence terminal/axillary panicle. Hermaphrodite. Flowers small, greenish-white to cream, sweetly scented.
Fruit: Capsule 0.6 – 0.8 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Submontane, montane, upper montane and dry montane forest.
Distr: EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Tropical and Southern Africa. Madagascar, Southern India.
Notes: NR.
Uses: Used for firewood, tool handles, spoons, clogs and for shade and ornamental purposes. The bark is used as a medicine for anaemia and for preventing abortion in young women. The bark yields red dye. Root fibre is used in basketry.
Last Updated: 18 June 2017