info@celp.org.uk

SAPOTACEAE

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

SAPOTACEAE

Chrysophyllum gorungosanum Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. albidum sensu Brenan non G. Don (C. albidum occurs in West and Central Africa, Uganda and Kenya, not Tanzania), C. fulvum S. Moore
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Banasa (S), Mkuti (S, Z), Masambia longwe (S).
Bole: Straight. Buttressed. Large. To 40 m.
Bark: Pale grey/brown.
Slash: Pale brown/yellow-brown with cream streaks. White latex near the wood.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1 – 2.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 7 – 15 × 2.3 – 5.5 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acute/acuminate. Entire. Hairy beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Clustered in leaf axils. Cream/yellow.
Fruit: Ellipsoid, 4 × 3 cm. Dense reddish-brown hairs.
Ecology: Montane and upper montane forest.
Distr: EA, LN, LT. Cameroon, East-central and Eastern Tropical Africa.
Notes: Leaves silvery/golden brown beneath. Prominent brown midrib and lateral nerves. Hairs of intercostal areas closely appressed. White latex in leaves and fruit.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, grain mortars, beehives, veneer and plywood.
Chrysophyllum lanceolatum (Blume) A. DC. var. stellatocarpon P. Royen
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: NR.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: NR.
Petiole: NR.
Lamina: NR.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: NR.
Thorns & Spines: NR.
Flower: NR.
Fruit: 5-ribbed fruits star-like in cross section.
Ecology: NR.
Distr: Recorded at Amani and Ngezi Forest Reserve.
Notes: Possibly introduced.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, plywood, grain mortars and beehives. The tree has good shade.
Chrysophyllum perpulchrum Mildbr. ex Hutch. & Dalziel
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: C. africanum sensu TTCL non A. DC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mbarazi (S), Mukwe (S), Mkuti (S, Z).
Bole: Straight. Buttressed. Large. To 40 m.
Bark: Pale brown/grey. Smooth.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.5 – 3.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 8 – 20 × 3 – 6.5 cm. Elliptic/oblong/ovate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acute/acuminate. Entire. Hairy beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Clustered in leaf axils. Cream.
Fruit: Globose. 3.5 cm in diameter. Covered in reddish-brown/purple-brown hairs.
Ecology: Submontane forest.
Distr: EA (EUs, Rubeho). Disjunct to Uganda and Central & Western Africa.
Notes: Underside of leaf with red-brown/purple-brown indumentum giving the crown a coppery colour. Midrib and lateral nerves raised. Hairs of intercostal areas erect and crisped.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, plywood, grain mortars and beehives. The tree is used for shade.
Chrysophyllum pruniforme Pierre ex Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Medium. To 30 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 0.7 cm.
Lamina: Small. 4 – 11 × 1.8 – 5 cm. Elliptic/oblong-elliptic. Cuneate. Asymmetrical. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous except on midrib beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Clustered in leaf axils. Flowers small, green.
Fruit: Globose/ovoid, yellow, up to 5 × 4 cm, glabrous.
Ecology: Lowland forest.
Distr: LV. Uganda, Central and Western Africa.
Notes: Primary nerves numerous and closely parallel. Closely related to C. viridifolium Wood & Franks, but midrib not impressed, leaves narrowly acuminate, not drying green and fruit up to 5 × 4 cm. A small tree (8 m tall) from upper montane forest at Nyumbanitu on the Udzungwa mountains (C. sp. 1 of FTEA) has affinities to C. pruniforme.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, grain mortars and beehives. It is also used for shade.
Chrysophyllum viridifolium J. M. Wood & Franks
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Fluted. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey.
Slash: Milky latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.4 – 1 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 4 – 10 × 2 – 5 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Cuneate. Asymmetrical. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous/rusty hairy on young leaves.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Clustered in leaf axils. Yellow/green.
Fruit: Yellow when ripe, subglobose berry. To 3.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland, dry montane and riverine forest.
Distr: C, EA. Eastern and South-eastern Africa, south to Natal.
Notes: Closely related to C. pruniforme Engl. Primary nerves numerous and closely parallel. Midrib impressed, leaves bluntly acuminate, drying green and fruit up to 3.5 cm in diameter.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, grain mortars and stools. The tree is good for shade.
Englerophytum magalismontanum (Sond.) T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Bequaertiodendron magalismontanum (Sond.) Heine & J. H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: Chrysophyllum argyrophyllum Hiern, Chrysophyllum mohorense Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mduyuyu (Sw).
Bole: Fluted. Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Grey to brown slightly fissured/flaking in small patches. Glabrous.
Slash: Cream with pink tinge. White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Crowded at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.4 – 3 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 4 – 19 × 2 – 6 cm. Obovate/elliptic. Cuneate. Emarginate/obtuse. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy below.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. Falling. 0.3 – 0.8 cm long.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Fascicles at nodes on older twigs and branches. White/red-brown.
Fruit: Ellipsoid berry, red when ripe, 2.5 × 1.8 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland, dry montane and riverine forest. On termite mounds in woodland.
Distr: C, EA, LN, LT. Tropical and Southern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and heavy. It is used for building poles, firewood, tool handles, and spoons. Fruits are edible.
Englerophytum natalense (Sond.) T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Bequaetiodendron natalense (Sond.) Heine & J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: Chrysophyllum kilimandscharicum G.M. Schulze, Chrysophyllum natalense Sond.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mduyuyu (Sw), Mgambo (S), Nyeikatibu (S).
Bole: Branched. Fluted. Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Dark brown. Flaking.
Slash: Yellow. Sparing white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.7 – 1.4 cm. Round.
Lamina: Medium. 7 – 17.5 × 2 – 5.5 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate. Entire. Pubescent beneath. Brown/silvery. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary, solitary or up to 3 together. Creamy white. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Red. Ellipsoid. 2.5 cm long 1.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland, lowland, submontane, montane, riverine and groundwater forest.
Distr: C, EA, N, LN, LT, LV. Eastern, South-eastern and Southern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, poles, tool handles, milk pots, and spoons. The tree is used for shade and amenity. Roots are used as a medicine for stomach-ache. The fruits are edible.
Inhambanella henriquesii (Engl. & Warb.) Dubard
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkungu-wazimu, Msidundazi (Sw).
Bole: Straight. Medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Pale brown/grey. Rough. Fissured.
Slash: Pink. Sparing white latex. Wood white.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: To 4 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 7 – 15 × 3 – 9 cm. Elliptic/ovate/oblong. Cuneate. Obtuse/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: In small clusters on branchlets. Grey/brown, hairy.
Fruit: Red and 3 cm in diameter when mature.
Ecology: Lowland and groundwater forest.
Distr: C, EA. Eastern and South-eastern Africa.
Notes: There is only one other species in the genus, I. guereensis (Aubrév. & Pellegr.) T. D. Penn., from West Africa.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, tool handles and domestic utensils. The tree is good for shade and amenity. The fruits are edible.
Manilkara dawei (Stapf) Chiov.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Terminal whorls.
Petiole: 1.5 – 4 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 10 – 29 × 3.5 – 9.5 cm. Elliptic/elliptic-oblong. Cuneate. Obtuse/emarginate/acuminate. Entire. Upper surface glabrous above/silvery hairy below.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary fascicles. White/green-white.
Fruit: Subglobose.
Ecology: Lowland and riverine forest.
Distr: LV. Uganda, Central Tropical Africa.
Notes: Upper surface of leaf dark green, lower surface silvery-grey/whitish. Leaf vein reticulum conspicuous.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, spoons, tool handles, charcoal and firewood. The tree is good for shade.
Manilkara discolor (Sond.) J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: M. eickii (Engl.) H.J. Lam, Mimusops altissima Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgamba (S), Mgambo (Sw).
Bole: Small/medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: Dark grey/black/brown. Thick. Fissured in squares. Rough.
Slash: Red, white toward wood. Sparing white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Whorled. Crowded at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.7 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 9 × 5 cm. Oblong/elliptic/ovate. Cuneate. Emarginate/rounded. Entire. Glabrous above/silvery hairy below.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary clusters. Yellow.
Fruit: Ovoid/ellipsoid. 1.8 cm × 0.8 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland and dry montane forest.
Distr: C, EA. Eastern and South-eastern Africa, south to Natal.
Notes: Leaf upper surface deep green, lower surface silvery-grey.
Uses: The wood is hard and heavy. It is used for timber, tool handles, grain mortars and spoons. Fruits are edible.
Manilkara mochisia (Baker) Dubard
Syn. FTEA: NR.
Syn. TTCL: M. densiflora Dale
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Small/medium.
Bark: Brownish grey/blackish with longitudinal fissures.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Terminal rosettes on short shoots.
Petiole: 0.2 – 1.2 cm.
Lamina: Small. 2 – 7 × 0.3 – 3 cm. Elliptic-obovate/obovate. Cuneate. Obtuse/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy on lower surface.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present.
Thorns and spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary. White to pale yellow.
Fruit: Yellow. Red edible pulp when mature. 1.8 × 1.3 cm.
Ecology: Riverine forest. Thickets.
Distr: C, EA, LT. Eastern and Southern Africa, Angola.
Notes: Mostly in thornbush rather than forest. Leaves in terminal rosettes on short thick lateral branches.
Uses: NR.
Manilkara obovata (Sabine & G. Don) J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. FTEA: M. multinervis (Baker) Dubard subsp. schweinfurthii (Engl.) J. H. Hemsl., M. sp. 1.
Syn. TTCL: Chrysophyllum holtzii Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgama, Mgambo (Sw).
Bole: Fluted/buttressed. Medium/large. To 35 m.
Bark: Pale grey/dark brown-grey.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Clustered at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.8 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 3 – 10 × 1.6 – 5.5 cm. Obovate/obovate-oblong. Cuneate. Obtuse/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous/lower surface hairy when young.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: NR.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Fascicles in axils of older or fallen leaves. White.
Fruit: Subglobose, yellow, up to 2.5 cm long.
Ecology: Lowland, riverine and groundwater forest.
Distr: EA, LT, LV. Uganda, West and Central Tropical Africa.
Notes: Mature leaves appearing glabrous beneath.
Uses: The wood is hard and used for timber, building poles, tool handles and carvings. The fruits are edible.
Manilkara sansibarensis (Engl.) Dubard
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mguvi (Sw).
Bole: Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Grey/brown/black. Rough.
Slash: Milky latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.9 – 3 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 6 – 14 × 3 – 7 cm. Elliptic/obovate. Cuneate. Obtuse/emarginate/acute. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy below.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green-white. Congested in axils.
Fruit: Ellipsoid/globose. 1.3 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Lowland and dry lowland forest. Woodland. Thicket.
Distr: C. Coastal Kenya and Mozambique.
Notes: Upper surface of leaves with deeply impressed reticulum.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, handles, and domestic utensils. The bark is used to treat pneumonia. Roots are used as a medicine for gonorrhoea, syphilis and constipation.
Manilkara sulcata (Engl.) Dubard
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mchedi, Mcheji-dume (Sw).
Bole: Branched. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey. Small longitudinal fissures.
Slash: Milky latex only in branchlets.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Whorled. Clustered at ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.3 – 1.2 cm.
Lamina: Small. 6 × 3 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Cuneate. Emarginate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary. Pale green.
Fruit: Greenish. Ellipsoid to obovoid. 1 cm × 0.7 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Woodland. Thicket.
Distr: C. Coastal Kenya and Mozambique.
Notes: Leaves mostly less than 4 cm long, glabrous beneath.
Uses: The wood is very hard and heavy. It is used for building poles, firewood, charcoal, tool handles, domestic utensils and animal traps. The fruits are edible. The tree is used for shade. Roots are used for snake bites. Leaves are crushed and rubbed on the skin to cure rashes in children.
Mimusops aedificatoria Mildbr.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Myohoyo, Mgambo (S), Mseseluguru (Z).
Bole: Buttressed. Medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.5 – 3 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 6 – 16 × 2 – 5 cm. Elliptic/oblong/lanceolate. Cuneate. Acuminate/acute. Entire. Hairy becoming glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White and brown. Axillary.
Fruit: Yellow subglobose berry. 2 cm long, 1.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Lowland, submontane, groundwater and riverine forest.
Distr: C, EA. Southeastern Kenya, Malawi.
Notes: Closely related to M. zeyheri Sond.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, tool handles, firewood and charcoal. The tree has good shade.
Mimusops bagshawei S. Moore
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgambo (Sw).
Bole: Straight. Large. To 40 m.
Bark: Brown.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1 – 2 cm.
Lamina: Small. 5.5 – 12 × 2 – 5.3 cm. Elliptic/elliptic-oblong. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous/scattered hairs on midrib.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: 2 – 4 per axil, fragrant, pendulous, green-yellow/cream.
Fruit: Ovoid berry, yellow/orange-yellow, up to 2.5 × 2 cm.
Ecology: Lowland and montane forest.
Distr: LT, LV. Uganda, Kenya, Southern Sudan.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, firewood, charcoal, carvings, domestic utensils and beehives. The tree is used for shade. The fruits are edible.
Mimusops kummel Bruce ex A. DC.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: M. kilimandscharica Engl., M. langenburgiana Engl., M. pohlii Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgambo (Sw).
Bole: Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Dark grey.
Slash: Crimson or red-brown.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.5 cm. Round.
Lamina: Small. 4.5 – 12 × 2.4 – 5 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Cuneate. Acuminate/obtuse/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy on younger leaves. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Creamy white. Fragrant. Axillary. 2 – 4 per axil. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Orange/orange-red berry 2.5 cm long.
Ecology: Dry montane and riverine forest. Woodland.
Distr: EA, N, LN, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Closely related to both M. zeyheri Sond. and M. obovata Sond., but the petioles of M. kummel are shorter than M. zeyheri, the leaf lower surface is usually glabrous and the venation inconspicuous.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, carvings, tool handles and beehives. The fruits are edible. The tree has good shade.
Mimusops obtusifolia Lam.
Syn. FTEA: M. fruticosa A. DC.
Syn. TTCL: M. busseana Engl., M. fruticosa Bojer, M. kilimanensis Engl., M. usambarensis Engl., M. usaramensis Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgambo-kapu (Sw).
Bole: Branched. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Pale. Fissured.
Slash: Exuding milky latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.5 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 4 – 8 × 2 – 6 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Cuneate. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Creamy white. Axillary clusters.
Fruit: Orange/red. Globose/subglobose berry. 1 – 2.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Dry lowland and riverine forest. Thicket.
Distr: C, EA, LN. Eastern and South-eastern Africa. Madagascar and islands.
Notes: Closely related to M. zeyheri Sond.
Uses: The wood is hard, used for timber, firewood, poles, tool handles and dhow building. The tree is suitable for shade and avenue.
Mimusops penduliflora Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgama (L).
Bole: Small. To 10m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: Up to 3 cm.
Lamina: Small. 12 – 15 × 4 – 5 cm. Elliptic-oblong. Cuneate. Obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Clustered in leaf axils, pendulous.
Fruit: NR.
Ecology: Riverine forest.
Distr: EA only (Uluguru).
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and used for timber, firewood, charcoal, building poles and grain mortars. Fruits are edible. The tree has fine shade.
Mimusops riparia Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: M. dependens Engl., M. useguhensis Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mgama (L), Mgambo (Sw).
Bole: Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: Exuding white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1 – 2.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 7.5 – 13 × 4 – 8 cm. Elliptic/elliptic-obovate. Cuneate. Obtuse/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present, falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cream. Axillary clusters. Fragrant.
Fruit: Pale yellow to red subglobose berry. 3.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Riverine forest.
Distr: C, EA. Southeastern Kenya.
Notes: Close affinity to M. obtusifolia Lam., but the leaves and flowers are generally larger.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, poles, carvings and domestic utensils. The fruits are edible. The tree is used for shade.
Neohemsleya usambarensis T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Imperfectly known genus.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mdaa (S).
Bole: Fluted. Small/medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Dark brown.
Slash: Red with white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 1.2 cm.
Lamina: Small. 4 – 9 × 1.8 – 3.5 cm. Elliptic/lanceolate. Cuneate. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary, solitary or in threes. Greenish-cream. Dioecious.
Fruit: Obovid, 1.1 – 1.3 × 0.7 – 0.8 cm.
Ecology: Montane forest.
Distr: EA only (WUs, ?Ng).
Notes: Monotypic genus with affinities to Sarcosperma of India to Malesia.
Uses: Medicine for stomach and teeth.
Omphalocarpum strombocarpum Y.B. Harv. & Lovett
Syn. FTEA: NR.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtonamambi jike (H).
Bole: Straight/ fluted. Medium. To 20 m.
Bark: Brown. Smooth.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 2 – 4 cm. Ridged.
Lamina: Medium. 17 – 31 × 5 – 9 cm. Oblong-ovate. Cuneate. Obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cauliflorous fascicles. White, slightly fragrant. Dioecious.
Fruit: Base rounded, apex acute. 4 – 6 × 4 – 5 cm.
Ecology: Submontane forest.
Distr: EA only (Udz, Ul).
Notes: A rare tree, known only from a few individuals in two populations.
Uses: Saplings used to make snare traps.
Pouteria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Meeuse subsp. australis (J. H. Hemsl.) L. Gaut.
Syn. FTEA: Aningeria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Robyns & Gilbert subsp. australis J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kuti, Mkuti (S).
Bole: Straight. Fluted. Buttressed. Large. To 20 m.
Bark: Grey-brown.
Slash: Pink-white, white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 2.0 – 2.7 cm. Rounded/slightly angled. Twisted.
Lamina: Medium. 12 – 20 × 5.0 – 8.5 cm. Elliptic/obovate. Broadly cuneate, not decurrent. Acute/acuminate. Entire. Hairy on lower surface, becoming sparsely hairy to glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cream. Fascicles in axils. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Green. Ellipsoid to 4 cm long.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest.
Distr: EA (South P), N, LN, LT. Zambia/Malawi border.
Notes: Mature canopy leaves with flat or only slightly inrolled edges. Lateral nerves 18 – 25 on each side of midrib. Pellucid dots in young leaves only. Calyx densely hairy.
Uses: NR.
Pouteria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Meeuse subsp. floccosa (J. H. Hemsl.) L. Gaut.
Syn. FTEA: Aningeria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Robyns & Gilbert subsp. floccosa J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Straight. Fluted. Buttressed. Large. To 50 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.0 – 2.6 cm. Rounded/slightly angled. Twisted.
Lamina: Medium. 11 – 17 × 4.0 – 6.5 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Broadly cuneate, not decurrent. Acute/rounded. Entire. Densely hairy on lower surface, remaining so at maturity.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cream. Fascicles in axils. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Green. Ellipsoid to 4 cm long.
Ecology: Montane forest.
Distr: N only.
Notes: Mature canopy leaves with flat or only slightly inrolled edges. Lateral nerves 15 – 21 on each side of midrib. Pellucid dots in young leaves only. Calyx densely hairy.
Uses: NR.
Pouteria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Meeuse subsp. keniensis (R. E. Fr.) L. Gaut.
Syn. FTEA: Aningeria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Robyns & Gilbert subsp. keniensis (R. E. Fries) J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Straight. Fluted. Buttressed. Large. To 30 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 1.0 – 1.8 cm. Rounded/slightly angled. Twisted.
Lamina: Medium. 4 – 12 × 2 – 7 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Cuneate, not (or only slightly) decurrent. Acute/rounded. Entire. Densely hairy on lower surface, remaining so at maturity.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cream. Fascicles in axils. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Green. Ellipsoid to 4 cm long.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest.
Distr: EA (South P), N. Central Kenya.
Notes: Mature canopy leaves with inrolled edges. Lateral nerves 10 – 15 on each side of midrib. Pellucid dots in young leaves only. Calyx densely hairy.
Uses: NR.
Pouteria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Meeuse subsp. usambarensis (J. H. Hemsl.) L. Gaut.
Syn. FTEA: Aningeria adolfi-friedericii (Engl.) Robyns & Gilbert subsp. usambarensis J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Kuti, Mkuti (S).
Bole: Straight. Fluted. Buttressed. Large. To 50 m.
Bark: Smooth light coloured.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.3 cm. Rounded/slightly angled. Twisted.
Lamina: Medium. 6 – 13 × 2.5 – 4.0 cm. Elliptic. Narrowly cuneate, decurrent. Acute/rounded. Entire. Hairy on lower surface, becoming sparsely hairy to glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Cream. Fascicles in axils. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Green. Ellipsoid to 4 cm long.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest.
Distr: EA only (Us).
Notes: Mature canopy leaves with inrolled edges. Pellucid dots in young leaves only. Lateral nerves 11 – 16 on each side of midrib. Calyx sparsely hairy.
Uses: The tree is used for timber, firewood and charcoal and shade. The seeds contain an edible oil.
Pouteria alnifolia (Baker) Roberty
Syn. FTEA: Malacantha alnifolia (Baker) Pierre
Syn. TTCL: Malacantha ferrugineo-tomentosa (Engl.) Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mguoguo (Sw), Nguonguo (S), Msambia-ongwe (B, S, Z).
Bole: Fluted. Small/medium. To 25 m.
Bark: Brown. Papery. Flaking.
Slash: Pale yellow with darker yellow striations. Fibrous. Occasional white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: To 2 cm.
Lamina: Medium/large. 12 – 22 × 7 – 12 cm. Ovate/oblong. Cuneate. Obtuse/apiculate. Entire. Hairy.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Gland dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Yellow/green. Clustered in axils.
Fruit: Red, fleshy. Up to 2.5 cm long.
Ecology: Dry lowland, lowland, riverine and groundwater forest.
Distr: C, EA. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Two varieties: var. alnifolia widespread in tropical Africa, and var. sacleuxii (Lecomte) L. Gaut. apparently restricted to Zanzibar. Deciduous, leaves becoming orange and red before falling.
Uses: The tree is used for timber, firewood and charcoal. The fruits are edible.
Pouteria altissima (A. Chev.) Baehni
Syn. FTEA: Aningeria altissima (A. Chev.) Aubrév. & Pellegr.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Straight. Buttressed. Large. To 50 m.
Bark: Pale grey.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: To 1.5 cm.
Lamina: Small/medium. 5 – 13 × 3 – 7 cm. Elliptic/oblong-elliptic. Cuneate. Obtuse/emarginate/acute/acuminate. Glabrous except on mibrib beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Pellucid dots in leaves.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Fascicles in leaf axis. Fragrant. Green-cream/pale yellow.
Fruit: Red. Subglobose, up to 2 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Lowland and riverine forest.
Distr: LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Gland dots in leaves. Flowers in leaf axils.
Uses: Timber.
Pouteria pseudoracemosa (J.H. Hemsl.) L. Gaut.
Syn. FTEA: Aningeria pseudoracemosa J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkuti (Sw), Mlembelembe (L).
Bole: Straight. Fluted. Buttressed. Medium/large. To 40 m.
Bark: Pale grey. Smooth.
Slash: Cream with brown stains and brown edge. Sparing white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.2 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 8 – 17 × 4 – 8 cm. Elliptic/ovate. Cuneate/rounded. Acute/rounded. Entire. Hairy on lower surface, becoming glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Pellucid dots in the mature leaf.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary racemes.
Fruit: Unknown.
Ecology: Lowland and submontane forest.
Distr: C, EA.
Notes: Flowers on short and densely pubescent shoots. Gland dots in leaves.
Uses: Timber, firewood, charcoal and shade.
Sideroxylon inerme L. subsp. diospyroïdes (Baker) J.H. Hemsl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: Sideroxylon diospyroïdes Baker.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mkokobara (Sw).
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Grey. Fissured.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.5 – 1.5 cm. Glabrous.
Lamina: Medium. 4 – 10 &times 2 – 6 cm. Ovate. Cuneate. Emarginate/obtuse/rounded. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Green-white, fragrant. Axillary clusters or on older wood.
Fruit: Black, berry like. 0.6 – 1.5 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland and riverine forest. Woodland. Thicket. Fringes of mangroves.
Distr: C. Eastern Tropical Africa. Aldabra.
Notes: Subsp. inerme is in southern Africa.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal and spoons. The tree has good shade. The fruits are sometimes eaten.
Synsepalum brevipes (Baker) T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Pachystela brevipes (Baker) Engl.
Syn. TTCL: Pachystela brevipes (Baker) Baill.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Msambia (B, S, Z), Msamvia (Sw).
Bole: Fluted. Small/medium/large. To 35 m.
Bark: Pale brown. Rough. Fissured.
Slash: Red. White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 1 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 9 – 20 × 3 – 8 cm. Oblong/lanceolate/ovate. Cuneate. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire. Older leaves glabrous/young leaves hairy beneath.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Present. 1.2 cm long.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Yellow-green/cream, fragrant. Axillary clusters or on wood.
Fruit: Yellow/orange-yellow. 2.5 cm long.
Ecology: Lowland and riverine forest.
Distr: C, EA, LN, LT, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Pedicels 0.2 cm long. Leaves usually less than 7 cm wide, leaf base cuneate.
Uses: The wood is hard and used for firewood, charcoal and domestic utensils. The tree has good shade. Fruits are edible.
Synsepalum cerasiferum (Welw.) T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Afrosersalisia cerasifera (Welw.) Aubrév.
Syn. TTCL: Sersalisa usambarensis Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mohoyo (S).
Bole: Straight. Fluted/buttressed slightly. Large. To 30 m.
Bark: Pale brown. Shallowly fissured/pitted.
Slash: Pink/brown. Sparing white latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate/whorled at ends of branches.
Petiole: 1.2 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 6 – 17 × 5 – 6 cm. Oblong/lanceolate. Cuneate. Obtuse. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Congested in axils of older leaves or ramiflorous. Green/yellow.
Fruit: Red. Globose berry, 2.5 × 2 cm.
Ecology: Lowland, submontane, montane, riverine and groundwater forest.
Distr: EA, LT, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal and domestic utensils. The tree has good shade. Fruits are edible. Leaves and roots are aromatic. Roots are used as a medicine for prolapse of the uterus.
Synsepalum msolo (Engl.) T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Pachystela msolo (Engl.) Engl.
Syn. TTCL: Pachystela msolo (Engl.) Engl., Pachystela ulugurensis Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Msambia (B, S, Z), Msamvia (Sw).
Bole: Fluted. Large. To 50 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: White latex. Leaf: Simple. Alternate. Petiole: 0.4 – 0.8 cm. Lamina: Medium/large. 10 – 35 × 4 – 14 cm. Ovate/oblong/lanceolate. Cuneate/cordate. Acuminate/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous above/hairy beneath.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Present on leaves.
Stipules: Present. 1.5 cm long.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Greenish-white, fragrant. Clustered on older branches.
Fruit: Yellow. 2.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Lowland, submontane and riverine forests.
Distr: C, EA. Tropical Africa.
Notes: Pedicels 0.6 cm long. Leaves usually more than 7 cm wide. Lower surface of leaf silvery. Base of leaf usually not cuneate.
Uses: The wood is hard and is used for firewood, charcoal, tool handles, grain mortars and spoons. The tree is used for shade. The fruits are edible.
Synsepalum passargei (Engl.) T. D. Penn.
Syn. FTEA: Vincentella passargei (Engl.) Aubrév.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Red/brown. Rough/pitted.
Slash: Red/brown. Fibrous. White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: To 1 cm.
Lamina: Small. 12 × 4.5 cm. Lanceolate/oblong/ovate. Cuneate. Acuminate/emarginate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy along midrib.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Congested in axils of current or fallen leaves. Green-white.
Fruit: Yellow/orange-yellow berry to 1.5 cm long.
Ecology: Riverine forest.
Distr: LN, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The tree is used for firewood, charcoal, poles, tool handles and shade.
Synsepalum ulugurense (Engl.) Engl.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Branched. Small. To 15 m.
Bark: NR.
Slash: White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate.
Petiole: 0.3 – 0.5 cm.
Lamina: 12 – 16 × 3 – 4 cm. Lanceolate/oblong. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy along midrib.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Present. Falling.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Ramiflorous?
Fruit: Orange-red berry ca. 3.2 × 2.2 cm?
Ecology: Montane forest.
Distr: EA only (Ul, Ng?).
Notes: The syntypes were sterile and are presumed destroyed at Berlin; inflorescence position and fruit characters are here taken from the Nguru material, which is only doubtfully assigned to this species.
Uses: NR.
Vitellariopsis cuneata (Engl.) Aubrév.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: Mimusops cuneata Engl.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Branched/straight. Small. To 10 m.
Bark: Rough, vertically fissured.
Slash: Red/brown. White latex.
Leaf: Simple. Alternate/whorled. Clustered towards ends of branches.
Petiole: 0.5 – 2 cm.
Lamina: Small. 7 – 11 × 3 – 5 cm. Elliptic/oblong. Cuneate. Obtuse. Entire. Glabrous/hairy along midrib.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Present.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Clustered in axils of terminal leaf rosettes. Yellow.
Fruit: NR.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest.
Distr: EA only (Us, Udz).
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard, heavy and tough. It is used for firewood, poles, animal traps and tool handles. The tree is used for shade and amenity.
Last Updated: 19 June 2017