Species of the week

This week you have the opportunity to get to know this tree, the False-Marula, which could be super useful in numerous situations

Common name: False-Marula

Scientific name: Lannea schweinfurthii var. Stuhlmannii (named after Dr. Georg August Schweinfurth, a German botanical collector and taxonomist)

Kingdom: Plantae

Phylum: Tracheophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order:   Sapindales

Family: Anacardiaceae

Genus: Lannea

Size: Generally 3-8 high (max. recorded 15m)

 

Erect, deciduous tree, slightly aromatic. Bark grey to light brown, showing an orange color under the bark. Leaves are compound, petiole long and slender. Flowers are small, cream-coloured to yellow, sweetly scented. The fruit is an elongated-ovoid fleshy berry, about 12 mm long: reddish to brown-black when ripe.


 

Geographic Range

Found mainly on floodplains, in mixed woodland.

Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe to South Africa. 

 

Reproduction

 Sexes separated, on different trees. Flowers can be found from October to December, but mainly in November. The fruit only appears once per year, in February, possibly because they are sought after and rapidly eaten by birds and other animals.

Uses

The tree supplies a number of commodities that are used by the local population including an edible fruit, a dye, fiber, useful timber and a number of medical applications.

The fruit has a sweet flavor, they are normally eaten as a snack and thirst quencher. The bark is normally used to make tea that is used as a blood tonic for treating anemia. A decoction of the bark is also used for treating diarrhea, stomach-ache and headache.

 

Conservation Concerns

None recorded. 

 

Curiosities

  • A red dye obtained from the bark is used for dyeing clothes
  • The bark is a source of tannins
  • The bark is also used to make ropes
  • The species is resistant to fire

 

References

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Lannea+schweinfurthii

http://plants.jstor.org/compilation/lannea.schweinfurthii

http://zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=136560

http://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=136560

http://www.gbif.org/species/3660709

http://www.worldagroforestry.org/usefultrees/pdflib/Lannea_schweinfurthii_UGA.pdf

 Pictures

http://tropical.theferns.info/plantimages/L/a/LanneaSchweinfurthiiTree.jpg

http://tropical.theferns.info/plantimages/L/a/LanneaSchweinfurthiiFlower.jpg

http://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/image-display.php?species_id=136560&image_id=4