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close this bookKenya Trees, Shrubs and Lianas (National Museum of Kenya, 1994, 762 p.)
View the documentAnnonaceae - Soursop family
View the documentMonimiaceae - Lemonwood family
View the documentLauraceae - Avocado family
View the documentHernandiaceae
View the documentRanunculaceae - Buttercup family
View the documentBerberidaceae - Berberis family
View the documentMenispermaceae - Curare family
View the documentAristolochiaceae
View the documentPiperaceae - Pepper family
View the documentTurneraceae
View the documentCapparaceae (Capparidaceae) - Caper family
View the documentMoringaceae - Moringa family
View the documentViolaceae - Violet family
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View the documentPortulacaceae
View the documentPolygonaceae - Sorrel family
View the documentPhytolaccaceae
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View the documentBalsaminaceae - Balsam family
View the documentLythraceae - Henna family
View the documentSonneratiaceae
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View the documentOnagraceae - Fuchsia family
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View the documentNyctaginaceae - Bougainvillea family
View the documentProteaceae - Protea family
View the documentDilleniaceae
View the documentPittosporaceae
View the documentFlacourtiaceae (incl. Samydaceae) - Kei-apple family
View the documentCanellaceae - Cinnamon family
View the documentTamariceae - Tamarisk family
View the documentPassifloraceae - Passionflower family
View the documentCucurbitaceae - Cucumber family
View the documentBegoniaceae - Begonia family
View the documentCaricaceae - Papaya family
View the documentOchnaceae - Ochna family
View the documentAncistrocladaceae
View the documentMyrtaceae - Eucalypt/clove family
View the documentLecythidaceae
View the documentMelastomataceae
View the documentCombretaceae - Combretum family
View the documentRhizophoraceae - Mangrove family
View the documentGuttiferae (including Hypericaceae) - Garcinia family
View the documentTiliaceae - Jute family
View the documentSterculiaceae - Cola family
View the documentBombacaceae - Baobab family
View the documentMalvaceae - Cotton family
View the documentMalphigiaceae
View the documentEyrthroxylaceae - Coca family
View the documentLinaceae - Flax family
View the documentEuphorbiaceae - Rubber, Cassava, Castor oil family
View the documentMontiniaceae
View the documentRosaceae - Rose family
View the documentChrysobalanceae
View the documentDichapetalaceae (including Chailletiaceae)
View the documentCaesalpiniaceae - Cassia family
View the documentMimosaceae - Mimosa family
View the documentPapilionaceae - Pea family
View the documentHamamelidiceae
View the documentBuxaceae - Box family
View the documentSalicaceae -Willow family
View the documentMyricaceae
View the documentCasuarinaceae - Casuarina family
View the documentUlmaceae
View the documentMoraceae - Fig family
View the documentUrticaceae - Stinging nettle family
View the documentAquifoliaceae - Holly family
View the documentCelastraceae - Miraa family
View the documentIcacinaceae
View the documentSalvadoraceae - Mswaki family
View the documentOlacaceae - Sour plum family
View the documentOpiliaceae
View the documentLoranthaceae - Mistletoe family
View the documentSantalaceae - Sandalwood family
View the documentRhamnaceae - Buffalo thorn family
View the documentVitaceae - Grapevine family
View the documentRutaceae - Citrus family
View the documentSimaroubaceae
View the documentBalanitaceae - Desert date family
View the documentBurseraceae - Myrrh family
View the documentMeliaceae - Mahogany family
View the documentSapindaceae - Mkaapwani family
View the documentMelianthaceae
View the documentAnacardiaceae - Mango family
View the documentConnaraceae
View the documentCornaceae - Dogwood family
View the documentAlangiaceae
View the documentAraliaceae - Mutati family
View the documentUmbelliferae - Carrot family
View the documentEricaceae - Heather family
View the documentEbenaceae - Ebony family
View the documentSapotaceae - Shea butter family
View the documentMyrsinaceae - Rapanea family
View the documentLoganiaceae - Strychnos family
View the documentOleaceae - Olive family
View the documentApocynaceae - Lmuria family
View the documentAsclepiadaceae - Milkweed family
View the documentRubiaceae - Coffee family
View the documentCompositae - Sunflower family
View the documentLobeliaceae
View the documentGoodeniaceae
View the documentBoraginaceae - Cordia family
View the documentSolanaceae - Potato family
View the documentConvolvulaceae - Sweet potato family
View the documentScrophulariaceae - Witchweed family
View the documentBignoniaceae - Flame tree family
View the documentPedaliaceae - Sesame family
View the documentAcanthaceae - Sarim family
View the documentVerbenaceae - Teak family
View the documentCyclocheilaceae
View the documentLabiatae/Lamiaceae - Mint, basil family

Sapindaceae - Mkaapwani family

Leaves alternate, usually without stipules. Flowers usually dioecious. Sepals 4-5; petals 0-5, usually with 1-2 scales at the base; disk present; stamens 5-12. Inflorescence usually a raceme or a panicle with the flowers in small groups.

1. Leaves simple 2

* Leaves compound 4

2. Leaves sticky-glandular, very glossy 8. Dodonaea

* Leaves not sticky 3

3. Coastal species; leafbase symmetric; leaves not leathery 1. Allophylus pervillei

* Inland species; leafbase unequal; leaves leathery 18. Pappea

4. Leaves bipinnate 5

* Leaves once-pinnate 6

5. Pinnae in 3 pairs; leaflets in 5-13 pairs; tree of Mandera district 4. Bottegoa

* Pinnae in 4-10 pairs, leaflets in 6-32 pairs; shrub or tree from the coast 15. Macphersonia

6. Climbers with 5 leaflets and coiled tendrils 19. Paullinia

* Plant without tendrils 7

7. Leaflets 3 per leaf, usually with toothed margins 1. Allophylus

* Leaflets 2 per leaf, or 4 or more; margins usually entire 8

8. Leaf rachis winged, the wing wider than 3mm 9. Filicium

* Leaf rachis not winged, or (in Haplocoelum) the wings less than 3mm wide 9

9. Star hairs on twigs and inflorescences; coastal tree 16. Majidea

* Hairs simple 10

10. Flowers/fruits in inflorescences from older wood; petals 4 11

* Inflorescences from among the leaves; petals 5, or absent 12

11. Trunk palm-like, unbranched; leaves with top pair of leaflets the largest; petals 4-5mm long 6. Chytranthus

* Trunk not palm-like; leaves with all leaflets roughly the same size; petals about 3mm long 17. Pancovia, and 5. Camptolepis

12. Inflorescence a large panicle, 30-60cm long 13

* Inflorescence less than 16cm long 14

13. Petals about 2mm long; fruit of 2 flat mericarps 2. Aporrhiza

* Petals 3.5-6mm long; fruit of 1-3 round or ellip soid mericarps 7. Deinbollia

14. Flowers/fruits in dense groups, not obviously on a central axis, the inflorescence less than 3cm long 15

* Flowers/fruits in (apparent) racemes or panicles 16

15. Inflorescence axillary; leaves usually on short-shoots 12. Haplocoelum

* Inflorescence terminal; leaves not on shortshoots 21. Zanha

16. Inflorescence a panicle, more than 5cm long 17

* Inflorescence an unbranched raceme (but sometimes branching in Haplocoelopsis, then < 5cm) 18

17. Petals absent; sepals 4; leaflets with swollen petiolules, symmetrical at base 10. Glenniea

* Petals 5, sepals 5; leaflets not with swollen petiolules, asymmetrical at base 14. Lepisanthes

18. Apex of leaflets (bluntly) acuminate; lower pair of leaflets often very small; petals 5; fruit 15-25mm long 19

* Apex of leaflets blunt or rounded; lower pair of leaflets not much smaller than others; petals absent; fruit 10-12mm 20

19. Petals to 1.5mm long; fruit a 3-lobed capsule 3. Blighia

* Petals 5-8mm long; fruit a round drupe 11. Haplocoelopsis

20. Calyx 2.5-3mm long; fruit a single 1-seeded capsule 13. Lecaniodiscus

* Calyx < 1mm long; fruit of 1-2 mericarps, with 1-2 abortive mericarps at the base 20. Stadmania

NOTE: recently found at Witu: 5. Camptolepis ramiflorawith paripinnate leaves (4-10 leaflets) and flowers from older wood.


Leaves (1)3-foliolate, glandular. Inflorescence a panicle or racemose thyrse. Flowers male and female in the same inflorescence. Sepals and petals 4; stamens 8. Fruit a drupe.

1. Leaves with lateral leaflets much less than half as long as the terminal leaflet, or with only one (terminal) leaflet 5. A. pervillei

* Leaves with lateral leaflets more than half as long as the terminal leaflet 2

2. Inflorescence branched 3

* Inflorescence unbranched or nearly so 6

3. Coastal forest species, with leaflets often over 15cm long and inflorescence over 25cm long 7. A. zimmermannianus

* Inland species, or coastal species with leaves shorter than 14cm and inflorescence under 22cm long 4

4. Leaflets hairy beneath 6. A. rubifolius

* Leaflets glabrous beneath 5

5. Petiole 3-10cm, minutely tomentellous; forest 1. A. abyssinicus

* Petiole 1-3(6)cm long, (glabrous or) pubescent; riverine or wooded grassland 2. A. africanus

6. Leaves usually drying green in both sides; leaflet apex long-tapering 3. A. ferrugineus

* Leaves drying brown or black above; leaflet apex acute or obtuse 7

7. Sepals 1.5-2mm long; leaflets glabrous 4. A. kilimandscharicus

* Sepals less than 1.1mm long; leaflets glabrous or hairy 6. A. rubifolius

1. Allophylus abyssinicus (Hochst.) Radlk.

Shrub 1.2m to tree up to 21m; bark grey, smooth. Lateral leaflet two-thirds to one times as large as the terminal one, terminal leaflet 9-18 by 4-8cm, with crenate margins, glandular, glabrous except for doma-tia. Flowers white, in panicles 10-16cm long. Fruit obovoid, 7-8mm long.

K12345; 1000-2550m; II, IV, VI, IX-XII *

Dry or moist forest (remnants); riverine forest.

Mongame (KAM), Mushami (STAND, KIK), Ilkukute (SAM), Eckekota (TUR), Sasuriet, Mororta (KIP), Losin (MAR), Mutarauka, Mukarakara (MER), Sa-ganuet (NAN), Bionwa, Pionyet (SEB), Morilwa (TUG). Wood not durable.

Allophylus abyssinicus

2. Allophylus africanus P. Beauv.

Shrub or tree 3-9m. Lateral leaflets almost as large as the terminal one; terminal leaflet 5-11 by 2.5-5cm, margins crenate or toothed, glandular, glabrous or nearly so, sometimes with domatia. Flowers greenish cream, in panicles 4-12cm long. Fruit round or ellipsoid, 5-6mm long.

K356; 1200-2250m; I, V-VI, VIII-IX *

Riverine or in moist wooded grassland, often on old termite hills.

Gadida (BOR), Nyaludhi, Ochond-Atego (LUO), Mongunyet (SEB). Stem fibres are used in weaving granaries.

Note: I have not seen Robertson 1899 from the Thiba R. cited in FTEA-typescript, and I have not included this in the map.

Allophylus africanus

3. Allophylus ferrugineus Taub.

[A. oreophilus Gilg., A. volkensii Gilg, A. cuneatus E.G. Baker, A. macrobotrys Gilg, A. sp. of KTS]

(Scandent) shrub or tree 1.2-6m. Lateral leaflets 0.5-1 times as large as the terminal one; terminal leaflet 5-25 by 2.5-9cm, toothed or somewhat lobed at the margins, glabrous to pubescent, glandular, often with domatia. Flowers greenish cream or white, in usually unbranched racemes 8-30cm long. Fruit green to red, ellipsoid, 5-8mm long.

K3456; 1200-2200m; II-IV, VI-XII

Moist or dry forest or riverine forest.

Mugibe (KIK), Borwetap-chepkeleliet (KIP), Olsioti (MAA), Kumukhendie, Lusasari (LUH). The fruit is edible.

Allophylus ferrugineus

4. Allophylus kilimandscharicus Taub.

Shrub or tree 1-6m. Lateral leaflets 0.5-0.75 times as large as the terminal one, terminal leaflet 4-8 by 2-4cm, the margins shallowly lobed as well as toothed, glandular, glabrous except for the domatia. Flowers greenish white, in unbranched racemes 5-15cm long. Fruit yellowish, obovoid, 5-6mm long.

K(3??)456; 1550-2150m; II, IV, VI, XII *

Dry forest (remnants)

Muthigio (KIK).

A. kilimandscharicus

5. Allophylus pervillei Bl.

Shrub 0.5-4m, occasionally reported as a tree to 6 or 9m. Leaves usually unifoliolate, rarely with persistent, minute lateral leaflets to 1cm long; terminal leaflet elliptic or obovate, base cuneate, apex acuminate, margins entire, slightly lobed or toothed, 6-16 by 3-9cm, glandular, glabrous. Flowers white or cream, in unbranched racemes 4-10cm long. Fruit red, round or ellipsoid, 5-8mm long.

K7; 1-450m; I-IV, VI-XII (XII)

Forest (margins), Brachystegia woodland, coastal evergreen thicket.

Mchacha (SWA),Mudimi tsaka, Mpalika (DIG), Mbonokoma, Munyanga-Kitswa (GIR). Used for building poles.

Allophylus pervillei

Allophylus pervillei

6. Allophylus rubifolius (A.Rich.) Engl.

[A. alnifolius (Bak.) Radlk., A. tenuis Radlk., A. stachyanthus Gilg., A. griseotomentosus sensu KTS]

Shrub or tree, occasionally a climber, 1-7.5m. Lateral leaflets one-third to half as large as the terminal one; terminal leaflet 2-14 by 1-8cm, margins serrate, glandular, glabrous to densely (whitish) pubescent, often with domatia. Flowers white or cream, in usually unbranched racemes 4-22cm long. Fruit orange or red, round or elliptic, 5-7mm long.

K1234567; 1-2100m; I-XII (I, VII, XII)

A very variable species or species group; found in a great variety of habitats, from dry bushland, woodland, thickets and along rivers to dry forest and coastal moist forest. The forest forms often have larger leaves and white pubescence, and sometimes branched inflorescences.

Mlishangwe, Mkona-Chuma (SWA), Ethamathu (BON), Mbanda-Tchitswa, Mvunga-Kondo (DIG), Munyanga-kitwa (GIR), Mweze-banya (ILW), Muthe (KAM), Chekeleliet, Borowet (KIP), Oludh-kuon, Nyamwoch (LUO), Osyaiti orok (MAA), Chepkokai (PKT), Idi shibel bured (SOM), Ekarai (TUR).

Allophylus rubifolius

7. Allophylus zimmermannianus F.G Davies ined. VULNERABLE,?ENDANGERED

Shrub or tree 3-5m. Lateral leaflets 0.75-1 times as large as the terminal one, terminal leaflet 12-21 by 6-10cm, margins crenate-serrate, glandular, glabrous. Flowers cream or white, in panicles 25-30cm long. Fruit red, ellipsoid, 5-6mm long.

K7, Shimba Hills forest at 375m.


Leaves paripinnate. Flowers functionally unisexual. Sepals and petals 5; stamens 6-8. Fruit a capsule.

Aporrhiza paniculata Radlk.

Tree 4.5-16m; bark smooth, grey. Leaflets 6-10, opposite or alternate, base cuneate, apex obtuse, 8-18 by 3-8cm, glabrous (or with hairy veins). Flowers white, in terminal or axillary panicles 30-50cm long; petals about 2mm. Fruit with 2 flat almost round mericarps, each 12-20mm long.

K7; 1-400m; - *

Riverine forest in Shimba Hills and near Mchelelo (Tana R.)

Munywa madzi (DIG); a bark infusion is employed against tuberculosis by the Digo.

Aporrhiza paniculata


Leaves paripinnate. Flowers usually dioecious. Sepals and petals 5, stamens 8-10. Fruit a 3-lobed capsule.

Blighia unijugata Bak.

Tree 5-30m; bark smooth, browngrey, sometimes with warty excrescences. Leaflets (2) 4-8(10), elliptic, base cuneate, apex (rounded or) acuminate, 6-22 by 1.5-8cm, the lowermost pair sometimes very small, glabrous; often with domatia. Flowers white, in axillary racemes or spikes 5-10cm long; petals about 1.5mm. Fruit red, three-lobed, 17-30 by 19-30mm. Seeds with yellow aril.

K34567; 1-1900m; I, X *

Moist or dry forest; riverine forest.

Mkivule, Mwakamwatu (SWA), Mpwakapwaka (DIG), Muikoni (KIK), Shiarambatsa (LUH), Oggon-Achak (LUO), Muthiama (MER). Wood durable.

Blighia unijugata

Blighia unijugata


Leaves bipinnate. Flowers dioecious(?); sepals and petals 4.

Bottegoa insignis Chiov.

Tree 6-10m; bark grey, fissured. Leaves with 3 pairs of pinnae, each with 4-10 oblong leaflets, 5-13 by 3-6mm, asymmetrical, sparsely pilose and sometimes gland-dotted. Male flowers unknown; female flowers cream, in racemes about 7cm long; petals about 5mm long. Fruit yellow-brown, flat, almost round with emarginate apex, to 5cm across, the centre spongy.

K1; 400-750m; - *

Acacia-Commiphora bush/woodland.

Sirsub, Abareta (BOR), Domader (SOM).

Bottegoa insignis

Bottegoa insignis


Camptolepis ramiflora (Taub.) Radlk.

Tree 3-30m, evergreen; bark smooth, rufous. Leaves imparipinnate, glabrous, with 4-10 leaflets. Flowers white, in dense cymes from older wood.

K7: Robertson & Luke 5477 from Witu.


Trunk often palm-like, unbranched. Leaves (im-)paripinnate. Inflorescence from roots, trunk or branches. Flowers unisexual, the petals on one side. Sepals 5, petals 4, stamens 7-8. Fruit a drupe.

1. Inflorescence shortly pedunculate (<5cm); leaflets in ca. 12 pairs 1. C. obliquinervis

* Inflorescence long-pedunculate (10-20cm); leaflets in ca. 5 pairs 2. C. prieurianus

1. Chytranthus obliquinervis Engl.

Tree 2-15m, with an unbranched trunk and crown of pinnate leaves from its top. Bark greybrown, smooth or somewhat wrinkled. Leaves to 1m long, leaflets in 5-25 pairs, the lowermost small (2cm long), the uppermost to 45cm long; leaflets obovate, opposite or alternate. Flowers white or cream, in racemes 5-13cm long arising in clusters from the trunk from near the ground to just below the leaves; petals 4-5mm long. Fruit unknown.

K7; 1-400m; I-II, IX, XI-XII *

Moist forest or riverine forest.

Makamwaka (SWA), Mpwakapwaka (DIG). The fruit is edible.

Chytranthus obliquinervis

Chytranthus obliquinervis

2. Chytranthus prieurianus Baill.

ssp. longiflorus (Verdc.) Hallé

(C. sacleuxii Pierre & Sacleux ssp. longiflorus Verdcourt)

Single-stemmed shrub or treelet 1-1.5m. Leaflets in 5 opposite pairs, the largest (uppermost) to 22 by 7cm, glabrous except for some hairs on the veins. Flowers cream, in racemes 15-30cm long from below or just above ground level; petals 4-5.5mm long. Fruit orange, fleshy, mature ones unknown.

K7; 1-50m; VIII *

Forest remnants (Shimoni, Nyali, South of Witu).


General habitat usually as in Chytranthus. Leaves paripinnate, the leaflets alternate or subopposite. Flowers unisexual; sepals and petals 5, stamens 9-30, with hairy filaments. Fruit of 1-3 indehiscent mericarps.

1. Apex of leaflet rounded; species found below 1000m 1. D. borbonica

* Apex of leaflet acuminate; species found above 1000m 2. D. kilimandscharica

1. Deinbollia borbonica Scheff.

Shrub or tree, 0.5-7m, usually (always?) with an un-branched trunk and a crown of leaves at its top. Leaflets 6-16(20), elliptic or obovate, base asymmetrically cuneate or rounded, apex rounded, all roughly the same size, 3.5-17 by 1.5-8cm, somewhat pilose below. Flowers white, in terminal or axillary panicles 30-60cm long; petals 5-6mm long. Fruit yellow or reddish, round or ellipsoid, 10-14mm long.

K7; 1-700m; II, V, VIII, X-XII

Forest, secondary bush, evergreen coastal thicket, riverine bush.

Mwakamwaka, Kilimu (SWA), Mnwaka-puza (DIG), Mdala-Mwaka (GIR), Motya-iziba (ILW), Mukakinya-Kusia (SAN). Fruit edible.

Deinbollia borbonica

2. Deinbollia kilimandscharica Taub.

Shrub or tree 2-12m; bark rough. Leaflets 6-12, elliptic or (ob)ovate, base (often asymmetric) cuneate or rounded, apex acuminate; the upper longer than the lower, 6-24 by 3.5-7cm, glabrous. Flowers white or cream, in (sub) terminal panicles 30-60cm long; petals 3.5-5mm long. Fruit yellow or reddish brown, ellipsoid, 10-14mm long.

K34567; 1200-2250m; MI, VI, VIII, X-XII

Moist or dry forest, riverine forest.

Mutalombe (KAM), Muchanga-Mukio (KIK), Chepokalyal (KIP), Musana (LUH), Kamigwa, Mu-lukelwo (TUG). The fruit is edible.

Deinbollia kilimandscharica Taub. a: leaf (× ½). b: fruits (× ½). c: flower (× 4). d: L.S. flower (× 4). e: gynoecium (× 30). a: from Gardner s.n.; b: from HonorĂ© 474; c-e: from Gardner 1475.

Deinbollia kilimandscharica


Leaves simple, resinous. Flowers dioecious; sepals 3-7, petals absent, stamens 5-8. Fruit a winged capsule.

1. Upland species; fruits reddish; flowers mostly unisexual 1. D. angustifolia

* Coastal species; fruits white or brown; flowers mostly bisexual 2. D. viscosa

1. Dodonaea angustifolia L.f.

(D. viscosa sensu KTS, p.p.)

Shrub or tree 1-6m. Leaves glossy, sticky with resin, (narrowly) elliptic, base cuneate, apex acute, 4-10 by 1-3cm, glabrous. Flowers yellow-green, in panicles 2-5cm long; sepals to 3mm long. Fruit pinkish or reddish, 2-3-winged, 12-20mm long.

K1234567; 1000-2700m; II-XI (IX-X)

Evergreen (secondary) bushland, usually in rocky, stony, or lava sites; also in forest margins. This species can withstand fires to an amazing degree.

Mkaa-Pwani (SWA), Hidesa (BOR), Kithongoi (KAM), Murema muthua (KIK), Muendu (LUH), Oking' (LUO), Orgeturai, Ol-Tuyesi (MAA), Ta-bilikwa (MAR), Tombolokwa (SEB), Tupulokwo (TUG). Wood hard, heavy, used for tool handles and walking sticks. A good hedge species, used for sand binding.

Dodonaea angustifolia

Dodonaea angustifolia

2. Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.

Shrub, 3-4m, very similar to D. angustifolia; leaves generally somewhat larger, as is the fruit (with 2 wings).

K7; 0-50m; VIII *

Sand near high water mark, dunes. Mkapwani (SWA).

Dodonaea viscosa


Leaves pinnate, usually with a terminal leaflet; the leaflets opposite or alternate. Flowers monoecious. Sepals, petals and stamens 5. Fruit a drupe.

Filicium decipiens (Wight & Arn.) Thwaites

Tree, 6-10m. Leaves with winged rachis, the wing to 1cm wide; leaflets 6-18(24), narrowly elliptic, base asymmetrically cuneate, apex emarginate but narrow, 6-14 by 2-3cm, glabrous, with wax dots. Flowers white, in axillary panicles 9-25cm long; petals about 1.5mm long. Fruit purple, ellipsoid, 9-11mm long.

K147; 1050-1500m; I-II *

Riverine forest or swampy sites in forest.

Fern Leaf Tree (Common), Kamiti (KIK).

Filicium decipiens

Filicium decipiens

Haplocoelopsis africana

Glenniea africana


Leaves paripinnate, with alternate or opposite leaflets. Flowers bisexual. Sepals 4-5, petals absent, stamens 5. Fruit a berry.

Glenniaea africana (Radlk.) Leenh.

(Melanodiscus oblongus Taub.)

Tree 7-20m; bark smooth. Leaflets 4-8, with swollen petiolules, elliptic, base cuneate, apex acute or obtuse, the terminal ones largest, 3-17 by 1.5-7cm, glabrous (except for the veins.); the lowest ones small. Flowers reddish brown, in axillary or terminal panicles 5-10cm long; sepals 1.5-5mm long. Fruit orange, almost round or 2-lobed, up to 2cm long.

K47; 1-1800m; VIII *

Forest or woodland (Nzaui, Kibwezi, Gongoni, Kwale); and possibly Beentje & Powys 4085 from Kijegge.


Leaves paripinnate, the leaflets opposite or alternate. Flowers unisexual, monoecious(?), sepals and petals 5, stamens 8. Fruit a 2-seeded drupe.

Haplocoelopsis africana F.O. Davies ined.

(Melanodiscus sp. nov. of KTS) RARE

Tree 7-20m. Leaflets 4-8, elliptic, base (asymmetrically) cuneate, apex bluntly acuminate, 5-15 by 2-6cm, glabrous; terminal leaflets largest, basal ones often much smaller and resembling stipules, at the base of the rachis. Flowers cream, in axillary racemes to 5cm long; petals 5-8mm long. Fruit yellow, bilobed or round, to 2.5cm when fresh.

K7; 1-500m; II *

Moist groundwater forest (Witu, Mangea, Shimba Hills, Marenji).

Muanyiza, Mtumbi mweusi (SWA), Gogiza (BON).


Leaves paripinnate with opposite or alternate leaflets. Flowers dioecious. Sepals 5-6, petals absent, stamens 5-6. Fruit a drupe.

1. Leaflets 2-8, asymmetrical at base; coastal 2

* Leaflets 8-32, asymmetrical as a whole; inland species 1. H. foliolosum

2. Twigs glabrous or pubescent; fruit 3-cornered; leaf rachis narrowly winged 4. H. trigonocarpum

* Twigs pubescent; fruit round or ellipsoid 3

3. Largest leaflets 2-8cm long; veins of leaflets conspicuous; wings of rachis continuous 2. H. inoploeum

* Largest leaflets 1-3cm long; with inconspicuous veination; rachis wing interrupted 3. H. mombasense

1. Haplocoelum foliolosum (Hiern) Bullock

Shrub or tree 3-10m; trunk often gnarled; bark smooth, grey. Leaves often borne on short shoots; leaf rachis often narrowly winged; leaflets 8-32, very asymmetric, elliptic, base cuneate or obtuse, apex obtuse or emarginate, basal ones smaller than the terminal pair, which is 1-4 by 0.5-2cm, glabrous or somewhat pilose. Flowers often precocious, cream, in dense axillary bundles (actually a congested polychasium); sepals about 2mm long. Fruit orange, ellipsoid to almost round, 15-22mm long.

K124567; (550)900-1800m; VII, IX-X *

Evergreen bushland, along (seasonal) rivers, in wooded grassland on rocky outcrops, semi-evergreen woodland and forest margins; may be thicket-forming.

Ghana (BOR), Mukumi (KAM), Se' et (KIP), Ol-Matasuya (MAA), Mriokwo (PKT), Elbilep (TUR). The wood is very hard, and used for building and furniture-making. The fruit is edible.

Haplocoelum foliolosum (Hiern) Bullock a: fruiting branchlet (× ½). b: flowering branchlet from plant (× 1). c: flower (× 4). a: from Greenway 9176; b & c: from Jarrett 107.

Haplocoelum foliolosum

2. Haplocoelum inoploeum Radlk.

Shrub or tree 2-12m with gnarled trunk and smooth or rough (in older trees) grey bark. Leaves often on short shoots, with winged rachis; leaflets 2-4, elliptic, base asymmetrically cuneate, apex obtuse and emarginate; the upper larger than the lower and 3-8 by 1.5-3.5cm, glabrous. Flowers greenish cream, precocious, in dense clusters; sepals 1.5-2mm long. Fruit yellow, ellipsoid, 12-20mm long.

K7; 1-500m; III-IV, X-XII *

Dry forest margins, coastal evergreen thicket, thick bushland.

Muchumbi, Mfunga-Tanzu (SWA, GIR), Mchumbi - kihuku (BAJ), Tokohoji (BON), Bubuyu (GAL). The fruit is edible.

Haplocoelum inoploeum

3. Haplocoelum mombasense Bullock RARE

Tree to 10m; leaflets 4-8, the upper (largest) about 5-4cm long.

K7; 1-500m; -*

Kenyan collections: Mombasa anno 1884, Kaya Sega, Kaya Dagamra. Near the shore, or on riverbanks in thickets. Kuchar 13565 from Boni might be this species; as might Ochung 9 (along Tana R.) and Schenkel 77 (along Galana R.).

Luke (pers. comm.) informs me this is much more common than indicated.

4. Haplocoelum trigonocarpum Radlk. RARE, ?VULNERABLE

Shrub or tree 4-6m. Leaflets 2-8, ovate or elliptic, base asymmetrically cuneate/obtuse, apex obtuse and emarginate; lowermost leaflets small (ca. 1cm), uppermost 3-7 by 2-3.5cm, glabrous. Flowers yellow, in dense axillary clusters; sepals 2-4mm long. Fruit red, 3-angled, 10-13mm long.

K7; 1-300m; -*

In (semi) evergreen bushland or thicket.

Mfunga-Tanzu, Mchumbi (SWA).

Haplocoelum trigonocarpum


Dioecious. Leaves paripinnate, with opposite or alternate leaflets. Flowers: sepals 5, petals absent, stamens 8-12. Fruit a capsule.

Lecaniodiscus fraxinifolius Bak.

Tree 5-18m; bark fairly smooth, grey. Young leaves orange. Leaflets 4-12, elliptic or (ob) ovate, base cuneate or rounded (sometimes slightly asymmetric), apex blunt or rounded, margin undulate in dried plants, 4-11 by 2-5.5cm (the lowermost the smallest), glabrous or nearly so, sometimes glandular. Flowers yellow-green, in axillary racemes; sepals 2.5-3mm long. Fruit yellow or pinkish, ellipsoid, 10-12mm long.

K3457; 1-1200m; II-VI, IX, XI-XII

In coastal forest or woodland; inland always riverine or along seasonal watercourses.

Mkunguma (SWA, GIR), Mapumbi (BAJ), Chona (BON), Mnyandakanda (DUR), Motobwi (ILW), Riangata (LUO), Matompa (ORM), Muhumbe (PKM), Chanah (SOM). Wood hard, used in building.

Note: I see the subspecies vaughanii and scassellatii as superfluous.

Lecaniodiscus fraxinifolius

Lecaniodiscus fraxinifolius


Leaves paripinnate, with opposite or alternate leaflets. Flowers monoecious, unisexual; sepals 5, petals 5, stamens 5-10. Fruit of 1-2 mericarps.

Lepisanthes senegalensis (Poir.) Leenh.

[Aphania senegalensis (Poir.) Radlk.]

Tree 6-10m, evergreen; bark smooth, pale greybrown. Leaflets 2 (East of rift) or 4-6 (West of rift), the top pair always opposite, elliptic, base cuneate and slightly asymmetrical, apex blunt or rounded, 8-19(23) by 3-6(9)cm, glabrous. Flowers yellow-green, in terminal or axillary panicles to 16cm long; petals 3-4mm long. Fruit red, the mericarps ellipsoid, 12-15mm long.

K1234567; 1-1900m; III-IV, VII-IX, XI-XII

Riverine forest; on the coast also in forest near the sea.

Muqanto (ILW), Oleragai (MAA), Musaretsi (LUH), Ochol (LUO), Iikisiriko (SAM), Kisriku (TUR). Wood medium hard, resembling walnut, used for building and furniture. Fruits and leaves are poisonous to goats and sheep; flowers are poisonous to fish.

Lepisanthes senegalensis

Lepisanthyes senegalensis


Leaves bipinnate. Flowers dioecious; sepals 5, petals 5, stamens 7-8. Fruit a berry.

Macphersonia gracilis O. Hoffm.

var. hildebrandtii (O. Hoffm.) Capuron

Shrub or tree 2-4m; rarely climbing. Leaves with 4-10 pairs of pinnae, each pinna with 6-32 alternate leaflets; leaflets asymmetric and resembling those of Albizia, 10-25 by 4-8mm, glabrous or nearly so. Flowers white or pink, in axillary racemes; petals 1-1.5mm long.

Fruit red or purple, round, 12-15mm.

K7; 1-400m; -*

Bushland on coral near Shimoni and on Mangea.

Macphersonia gracilis


Leaves paripinnate; indument stellate-hairy. Flowers monoecious, unisexual; sepals 5, petals 4, stamens 7-8. Fruit a capsule.

Majidea zanguebarica Oliv.

Tree 9-25m; bark smooth, grey. Leaflets 8-14, opposite or alternate, base asymmetrically cuneate, apex bluntly acuminate, 3-9 by 1.5-4cm, glabrous. Flowers pink or red, in (sub)terminal panicles with leafy bracts; petals 4-6mm, quickly falling. Fruit brown, reddish-pink inside, 3-angled and - valved, 2-3 by 2.5-3.5cm.

K7; 1-500m; I, V, VII, X-XII *

Riverine, or in (groundwater) forest. Mlanyuni, Kmonga (SWA).

Majidea zanguebarica

Majidea zanguebarica


Leaves paripinnate. Flowers mono-or dioecious. Sepals 5, petals 4, stamens 7-11. Fruit of 1-3 drupelets.

1. Leaves with 3-5 pairs of leaflets, glandular beneath 1. P. golungensis

* Leaves with 2 pairs of leaflets, not glandular 2. P. hildebrandtii

Note: P. sp. aff. ugandensis FG Davies ined. has recently been found at Gongoni Forest on the coast (Robertson & Luke 5964); red-hairy inflorescence.

1. Pancovia golungensis (Hiern) Exell & Mendonca

Tree 12-18m. Leaflets 4(-10?), elliptic, base cuneate, apex acuminate, 6-14 by 2-4.5cm, glabrous, glandular. Flowers white, in racemes to 10cm from 1 -year old wood; petals about 3mm. Fruit drupelets ellipsoid, 9-12mm long.

K7; Kasigau forest (1250-1400m) and Witu, Mangea, Dzombo and Muhaka forest (1-500m); IV *

Pancovia golungensis

2. Pancovia hildebrandtii Gilg

Similar to P. golungensis but with fewer leaflets.

K7; known from Mida and Mwele Mdogo forest, 1-400m; II, IV *

Moist forest.

Note. The type (not seen) is from Voi river (anno 1877).


Leaves simple. Flowers dioecious; sepals 5, petals 5, stamens 8. Fruit a 1-3-coccous capsule.

Pappea capensis Eckl. & Zeyh.

Shrub or tree 2-9m. Bark smooth and grey, or somewhat corrugated. Leaves usually on short shoots, elliptic, base rounded to subcordate and unequal, apex rounded or emarginate, margin entire or sharply serrate, 4-12(15) by 2-5(9)cm, (scabridulous-) puberu-lous beneath, glandular. Flowers yellow-green, in racemes to 10cm long; petals up to 1mm. Fruit pink, round (occ. with 2 semi-aborted cocci at base), 8-10mm.

K1234567; 1050-2300m; II-III, V-IX, XI-XII (VIII)

Usually in rocky sites in bushed or wooded grassland or semi-evergreen bush - or woodland.

Pika (BOR), Mongo wa mbule (DIG), Mubaa, Kiva (KAM), Ngonyat (KIP), Okuoro (LUO), Orkisikongu, Oltimigomi (MAA), Dilikoni (MER), Biriokwo (PKT, TUG), Esel (SOM), Etolerk (TUR). The bark decoction is emetic. Wood hard. Seed edible.

Pappea capensis

Pappea capensis


Climbing by coiled tendrils at base of inflorescence. Leaves with winged rachis, and opposite leaflets, paripinnate. Flowers functionally unisexual; sepals 5, petals 4, stamens 8. Fruit a 3-valved capsule.

Paullinia pinnata

Paullinia pinnata L.

Scandent shrub or liana 3-6m (probably more.). Leaf-lets 5, elliptic or (ob)ovate, base cuneate, apex obtuse or acuminate, margin dentate or distantly lobed, 4-13 by 2-5cm, glabrous except for the nerves. Flowers white or cream, in long-stalked racemes; petals 4-5mm long. Fruit reddish, obconical, 16-24 by 8-12mm.

K3567; 1-1500m; II-III, VI, VIII, XII *

Riverine forest, on the coast also on forest margins away from water.

Mbugu (SWA), Mongo wa Mbule (DIG), Wananda (LUO). Possibly a fish poison; used to make fish traps, as the plant is durable in water; used to make rope.

Paullinia pinnata

20. STADMANIA (Stadmannia)

Leaves paripinnate. Flowers functionally unisexual; sepals 5, petals absent, stamens 8. Fruit 2-3-coccous.

Stadmania oppositifolia Poir.

(S. sideroxylon DC.)

Tree 16-20m; bark smooth, flaking yellow/brown. Leaflets 4-8, (sub)opposite, elliptic, base asymmetrically cuneate, apex obtuse or emarginate, 9-14 by 3-6cm, glabrous (except midrib), minutely glandular. Flowers yellow-green, in axillary racemes to 12cm long; sepals minute. Fruit with round cocci, 10-12mm.

K7; forest at Diani, Chale I. and Kirao (Vanga); I *

Mfundu (SWA). Wood very hard and tough.

Stadmania oppositifolia


Leaves paripinnate. Flowers dioecious; sepals 4-6, petals absent; stamens 4-7. Fruit a drupe.

1. Leaf-rachis (at least near base) and fruit pubescent 1. Z. africana

* Leaf-rachis glabrous or nearly so; fruit glabrous 2. Z. golungensis

1. Zanha africana (Radlk.) Exell

(Dialiopsis africana Radlk.)

Tree to 8(12?)m; bark grey, peeling in flakes. Leaflets 6-10, usually alternate, elliptic, base obtuse to subcor-date, apex obtuse, margin entire or crenate-serrate, the uppermost largest, 5-12 by 2-6cm, more or less pubescent beneath. Flowers greenish, in terminal short cymose clusters. Fruit orange, ovoid, 20-25mm long. K4; known from Makueni and? Katumani, from wooded grassland (?)

Mkalya (STAND), Mikolekya (KAM).

2. Zanha golungensis Hiern

Tree 12-18m; bark reddish. Rather like Z. africana, but with the leaflets glabrous, and their apices often acuminate.

K7; 300-400m; I *

Moist forest: Shimba Hills and Mrima.

Zanha golungensis