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VERBENACEAE

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

VERBENACEAE

Premna angolensis Gürke
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: NR.
Bole: Crooked/fluted, usually hollow. Medium. To 27 m.
Bark: Pale grey/red-grey. Finely furrowed.
Slash: Pale brown to white, yellow toward wood with scattered orange-brown flecks. Soft.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite or in whorls of 4.
Petiole: 3 – 10 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 5 – 21 × 3 – 13 cm. Ovate/oblong/elliptic. Cuneate/rounded/cordate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous/hairy above or all over.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Glandular-punctate.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Terminal panicles. White tinged with green. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Globose. Green, turning purple. 0.4 – 0.5 cm in diameter.
Ecology: Submontane forest edges. Grassland.
Distr: LT, LV. Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and tough. It is used for timber, firewood, poles, animal traps and tool handles.
Premna hildebrandtii Gürke
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtumbatu (Z).
Bole: Branched/scandent. Small. To 12 m.
Bark: Young branches red lenticellate.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 1 – 5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 3 – 15 × 3 – 9 cm. Ovate/elliptic. Rounded/cordate. Acuminate. Entire/slightly serrate. Hairy. Simple.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Absent.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White-yellow green. Sweetly scented. Dense terminal panicles of cymes. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Black. Globose 0.6 – 0.7 × 0.5 – 0.6 cm.
Ecology: Dry lowland and groundwater forest. Woodland. Thicket. Grassland.
Distr: C. Eastern Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is hard and is used for building poles, tool handles and firewood. Roots are used as a medicine for stomach-ache.
Premna schliebenii Werderm.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mtitiopala (Po).
Bole: Small. To 16 m.
Bark: Yellow-brown. Smooth/finely longitudinally fissured.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Simple. Opposite.
Petiole: 1 – 1.5 cm. Hairy.
Lamina: Medium. 5 – 29 × 2 – 14 cm. Oblong. Cuneate. Acuminate/obtuse. Entire/slightly serrate. Hairy. Stellate, yellow, branched.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White or green. Panicle.
Fruit: Green drupe. Subglobose. 0.6 × 0.5 cm. Pubescent and gland dotted.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest. Grassland.
Distr: C, EA. Eastern Tropical Africa.
Notes: Closely related to the woodland P. chrysoclada (Bojer) Gürke
Uses: The wood is tough and hard. It is used for building poles, tool handles and firewood.
Vitex amaniensis W. Piep.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mfuru (S).
Bole: Small/medium/large. To 30 m.
Bark: White/pale grey. Smooth fibrous.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Digitate, 5-leaflets. Opposite.
Petiole: 6 – 12 cm. Petiolules: 0.5 – 2 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 7 – 18 × 3 – 9 cm. Elliptic/oblong-lanceolate. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire/serrate. Glabrous above/hairy on veins beneath. Simple.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Glandular-punctate.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Axillary cymes. Pale blue/white.
Fruit: Ellipsoid, black, 0.9 – 1.1 × 0.7 cm.
Ecology: Submontane and montane forest.
Distr: EA only (EUs, Ul, Udz).
Notes: Leaves dry dark.
Uses: The wood is used for timber, firewood, tool handles and spoons.
Vitex ferruginea Schumach. & Thonn.
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: subsp. amboniensis (Gürke) Verdc. var. amboniensis: V. amboniensis Gürke, V. tangensis Gürke; var. amaniensis (W. Piep.) Verdc.: V. amboniensis Gürke var. amaniensis Pieper
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mfuu (Sw).
Bole: Small. To 15 m.
Bark: Pale grey. Smooth.
Slash: Thin, dirty white, turning green brown. Absent.
Leaf: Digitate. 3 – 7 leaflets. Opposite. Lflt: Digitate.
Petiole: 3 – 13 cm. Petiolule: 0.2 – 1.3 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 3 – 17 × 1 – 7 cm. Elliptic/oblong-lanceolate. Cuneate. Acute/acuminate/obtuse. Entire/serrate. Hairy. Simple. var. amboniensis glabrous above. var. amaniensis hairy above.
Domatia: Absent.
Glands: Present.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: White/pale blue/violet. Axillary cymes. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Black. Globose 1.4 – 4 cm in diameter.
Ecology: subsp. amboniensis var. amboniensis: Dry lowland forest. Woodland. Thicket. var. amaniensis: Lowland and submontane forest. subsp. ferruginea: Lowland, riverine and groundwater forest.
Distr: subsp. amboniensis var. amboniensis: C. Eastern and southern Africa, var. amaniensis: EA only (EUs). subsp. ferruginea: LV. Uganda, West and Central Africa.
Notes: subsp. ferruginea: leaflets narrowly long acuminate; subsp. amboniensis: leaflets shortly acuminate/obtuse.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood, charcoal and spoons. Fruits are edible. Leaves are chewed to treat sore and swollen throats.
Vitex sp. B
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NR.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mfuu (Sw).
Bole: Medium. To 18 m.
Bark: Grey white. Corky. Smooth.
Slash: NR.
Leaf: Digitate. 5 leaflets. Opposite. Lflt: Digitate.
Petiole: 4 – 8 cm.
Petiolule: To 1.5 cm.
Lamina: Medium. 5 – 10 × 2 – 4 cm. Elliptic. Cuneate. Acuminate. Glabrous above. Hairy beneath.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: NR. Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: NR.
Fruit: Oblong-obovoid 1.4 – 1.7 cm wide, 5.5 – 8.5 cm long.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest.
Distr: C only (Pande).
Notes: Fruits elongate.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood and charcoal. Fruits are edible.
Vitex zanzibarensis Vatke
Syn. FTEA: NC.
Syn. TTCL: NC.
Syn. other: NR.
Local names: Mfuu (Sw).
Bole: Branched/crooked. Small/medium. To 16 m.
Bark: Yellow-brown. Longitudinally fissured/flaking.
Slash: Bright yellow with red streaks.
Leaf: Digitate. 3 – 5 leaflets. Opposite.
Petiole: 1.5 – 9 cm. Winged or unwinged. Leaflets sessile.
Lamina: Medium. 3 – 13 × 1 – 7 cm. Oblong/lanceolate. Cuneate. Acuminate. Entire. Glabrous.
Domatia: NR.
Glands: Leaves gland dotted above and beneath.
Stipules: Absent.
Thorns & Spines: Absent.
Flower: Blue/purple, fragrant. Hairy panicles. Terminal/axillary. Hermaphrodite.
Fruit: Orange-black. Globose 0.8 – 1 cm in diameter. Dark blue juice.
Ecology: Dry lowland forest edges. Woodland. Thicket.
Distr: C. Eastern Tropical Africa.
Notes: NR.
Uses: The wood is used for firewood and charcoal. The fruits are edible.
Last Updated: 19 June 2017