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RHAMNACEAE

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

RHAMNACEAE

Berchemia discolor (Klotzsch) Hemsl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgandu (G), Mkuni (N), Mnago (Sw), Nyahumbu (L), Ooko (Sd).
Bole: Small. To 10 m.
Bark: Dark grey/brown. Flaking in rectangles/reticulately fissured.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple, opposite/subopposite.
Petiole: 4 – 13 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 2 – 9 × 1.5 – 6 cm. Elliptic/ovate-oblong. Cuneate/rounded. Obtuse/acute/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Intra-axillary. 0.2 – 0.4 cm. Falling.
Thorns and spines: Absent.
Flower: Yellowish green, solitary/fascicles of 2 – 6 in axils.
Fruit: Yellow, 1.2 – 2 × 0.7 – 1.1 cm.
Ecology: Riverine, lowland dry forest. Thicket.
Distr: C, EA. Angola, Eastern and Southern Africa. Yemen, Madagascar.
Notes: Lower side of the midrib purplish red.
Uses: The wood is resinous, hard and heavy. It is used for furniture and construction timber, buildings, gun handles, tool handles and fencing posts. Leaves are used for tea. The bark produces a brown resin which is used as a glue and dye. The heartwood and roots produce a black dye. The ash from burnt wood is used for whitewash. Fruits are edible and are used for fodder. The tree is used for shade, amenity, wind breaks and bee forage. The bark is also used as medicine for liver problems.
Maesopsis eminii Engl. subsp. eminii
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: Maesopsis eminii Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Musizi, Muhumula (Ha), Mhesi (S).
Bole: Straight. Large. To 42 m.
Bark: Pale grey. Shallow vertical fissures.
Slash: Pale red/yellow with red edge and yellow toward wood. Granular.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite/alternate.
Petiole: 0.6 – 1.2 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 7 – 14 × 2.5 – 6 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Cuneate/cordate. Acuminate. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Small. 0.2 – 0.6 cm long. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary cymes.
Fruit: Drupe. Obovoid. 2.2 – 3.0 × 1.0 – 1.6 cm.
Ecology: Riverine, lowland and submontane forest.
Distr: EA (introduced), LT, LV. Kenya, Uganda, Central Africa, Zambia, Angola.
Notes: Introduced into the East Usambara where it colonises disturbed forest. Fruits dispersed by hornbills.
Uses: Used for timber, firewood, poles, shade, fodder and avenues.
Ziziphus mucronata Willd. subsp. mucronata
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: Z. mucronata Willd. var. inermis Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kagowole (H), Mgugunu (N), Mkunazi-mwitu (Sw), Mnyangwe (G).
Bole: Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Dark grey. Smooth/rough.
Slash: Crimson. Soft.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.5 cm.
Lamina: Small. 3 – 6 × 2 – 4 cm. Ovate. Cuneate/cordate. Asymmetrical. 3-nerved from base. Acute/acuminate. Serrate. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Spinous.
Thorns & Spines: Spinous stipules/absent.
Flower: Yellow-green. Axillary cymes.
Fruit: Red/brown. Globose. 1.2 – 2 cm thick.
Ecology: Riverine, dry lowland forest. Woodland.
Distr: C, EA, N. Tropical and Southern Africa. Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar.
Notes: Zig-zag branches.
Uses: An important species for building poles, firewood and charcoal. Fruits are sometimes eaten. Leaves and fruits are used as fodder for livestock. Leaves and roots are used as medicine for stomach-ache, chest pains, and when pounded they are used as poultices for boil and skin diseases. Roots are used for snake bites and bark for rheumatism and stomach-ache.
Ziziphus pubscens Oliv.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kagowole (H), Mgugunu (N), Mkone (Sw), Mnyangwe (G).
Bole: Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Dark/pale grey/brown with vertical brown lines.
Slash: Pale orange becoming bright orange toward the wood.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 0.6 cm.
Lamina: Small. (2 -) 3 – 5 (- 8) × (1.4 -) 2 – 2.5 (- 3) cm. Ovate/elliptic. Cuneate. Sometimes asymmetric. 3-nerved from base. Acuminate/acute. Serrate. Glabrous/pubscent above.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Subulate. 0.1 – 0.2 cm. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Yellow-green. Axillary cymes.
Fruit: Yellow/red-yellow. Globose. 0.7 – 1.0 cm long.
Ecology: Riverine, dry lowland and lowland forest. Woodland.
Distr: C, EA, N, LV. Eastern, Central, and South Tropical Africa.
Notes: Glandular point of each tooth with a bundle of grey hairs. Zig-zag branches.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, tool handles and spoons. Fruits are edible. Leaves and fruits are used for fodder.
Last Updated: 18 June 2017