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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
View the documentPolygalaceae
View the documentCrassulaceae
View the documentPortulacaceae
View the documentPolygonaceae - Sorrel family
View the documentPhytolaccaceae
View the documentChenopodiaceae
View the documentAmaranthaceae
View the documentBalsaminaceae - Balsam family
View the documentLythraceae - Henna family
View the documentSonneratiaceae
View the documentOliniaceae
View the documentOnagraceae - Fuchsia family
View the documentThymelaeaceae
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

Anacardiaceae - Mango family

Plants usually producing gums, resins or latex. Leaves alternate or (in Ozoroa) occasionally whorled, without stipules. Inflorescence of axillary and/or terminal panicles or racemes. Flowers 3-5 merous. Fruit a drupe, with a 1-5-seeded stone.

1. Leaves with stellate hairs 2

* Leaves glabrous or with simple hairs 3

2. Bark stringy, not flaking; stamens 8 2. Lannea

* Bark smooth, flaking; stamens 10-16 8. Sclerocarya gillettii

3. Leaves 1-foliolate 4

* Leaves with 3-37 leaflets 6

4. Leaves silky-hairy and shiny beneath, often whorled 3. Ozoroa

* Leaves glabrous, alternate 5

5. Leaves 6.5-18 by 4-10cm 1. Anacardium

* Leaves 2-6 by 1.5-4cm 8. Sclerocarya gillettii

6. Leaves with hairy pits (domatia) in vein-axils beneath 2. Lannea schweinfurthii

* Leaves without domatia 7

7. Leaves 3-foliolate 8

* Leaves 5-40-foliolate 9

8. Species of dry bushland in Garissa area; inflorescence less than 2cm long 8. Sclerocarya gillettii

* Widespread species; inflorescence 3-25cm long 6. Rhus

9. Leaflets 20-40 per leaf, 4-8mm wide 7. Schinus

* Leaflets either fewer, or wider (usually both) 10

10. Leaf rachis winged; leaves paripinnate 4. Pistacia

* Leaf rachis not winged; leaves imparipinnate 11

11 Leaflets with asymmetrical base; inflorescence a panicle 12

* Leaflets with symmetrical base; inflorescence more or less unbranched 13

12 Western species; inflorescence axillary 5. Pseudospondias

* Eastern/coastal species; inflorescence on older wood 9. Sorindeia

13 Bark smooth; leaflets 10-15 by 5-7cm; fruit 6-8mm long 2. Lannea welwitschii

* Bark cracked; leaflets 1-9 by 0.7-3.5cm; fruit 25-75mm long 8. Sclerocarya


Anacardium occidentale L.

Shrub or tree to 10m; bark rough, grey. Leaves simple, obovate, 6.5-18 by 4-10cm, glabrous. Flowers yellowish or reddish, in panicles to 25cm long. Fruit: the cashewnut.

K47; 1-900m; V, VIII, XI *

Originally from tropical America, the cashew has been

Anacardium occidentale

planted at the coast, and may be found in old cultivations.

Cashewnut (TRADE), Mkanju (SWA), Mukoloso (KAM). Bark contains tannin; the ripe nut yields a black dye.


Deciduous. Bark tough, often used for string. Leaves imparipinnate, often with stellate indument; leaflets (sub)opposite. Flowers often precocious, dioecious; flowers in spike-like panicles, 4-merous. Fruit a drupe, with 3-4 persistent style-bases.

1. Flowers present 2

* Fruits present 11

2. Inflorescence axis glabrous or sparsely hairy 3

* Inflorescence axis tomentose 4

3. Petals 1-2mm long 3. L. greenwayi

* Petals 3-4.5mm long 8. L. schweinfurthii

4. Inflorescence branched, to 20cm long; coastal forests 10. L. welwitschii

* Inflorescence unbranched (rarely 1-2 branches near the base) 5

5. Petals about 1mm long 6

* Petals over 2mm long 7

6. Inflorescence 1-4cm long; eastern species 1. L. alata

* Inflorescence 4-12cm long; western species 2. L. fulva

7. Inflorescence to 22cm long; western species (also in Chyulus) 7. L. schimperi

* Inflorescence less than 5cm long 8

8. Calyx glabrous; NE Kenya 5. L. malifolia

* Calyx tomentose 9

9. Bark rough 10

* Bark smooth, spongy; western species 4. L. humilis

10. Petals 2.5-3mm long; pedicels 0-6mm 9. L. triphylla

* Petals 3-5mm long; pedicels 0-1mm 6. L. rivae

11. Leaflets 7-15, less than 1cm long, crenate-lobed in upper half 1. L. alata

* Leaflets usually over 1cm long, entire 12

12. Leaflets whitish - or rusty-tomentose beneath 13

* Leaflets glabrous or pubescent, but not whitish or rusty 17

13. Leaflets 1-3, rarely more 14

* Leaflets 5-21, rarely less 16

14. Fruit glabrous or nearly so 2. L. fulva

* Fruit densely stellate-hairy 15

15. Leaves usually 1-foliolate; fruit 10-14mm long; young branches often over 5mm across 6. L. rivae

* Leaves usually 3-foliolate; fruit 6-9mm long; shoots less than 5mm across 9. L. triphylla

16. Leaflets 7-21, 1-5 by 0.8-3cm 4. L. humilis

* Leaflets 5-11, 5-15 by 3-7.5cm 7. L. schimperi

17. Leaves crowded on flat spur shoots 18

* Leaves spaced, on normal branches 19

18. Mature leaves glabrous, leaflets 1-4 by 1-3cm 3. L. greenwayi

* Mature leaves puberulous, leaflets 1.5-8 by 1-5.5cm 5. L. malifolia

19. Leaflets with hairy domatia, 2-9 by 2-6cm 8. L. schweinfurthii

* Leaflets without domatia (coastal forest) 10. L. welwitschii

1. Lannea alata (Engl.) Engl.

Shrub or tree 1-6m; bark grey, smooth or rough; root-bark woolly. Leaves usually on spur knobs, with 7-15 leaflets, the rachis somewhat winged; leaflets obovate, crenate-lobed in upper half, 2-10 by 2-10mm, glabrous but for the midrib. Flowers yellow-green, in 1-4cm long "spikes"; petals whitish, about 1mm. Fruit greenish with purple bloom, rounded or ovoid, 9-14 by 9-11mm, glabrous.

K147; 1-1200m; III-IV, VI, VIII, X-XII (XII).

Dry Acacia-Commiphora or Acacia-Combretum bushland, often on rocky sites; may be locally common, and can form pure stands.

Wa' Anreh (BOR), Mutungu (EMB), Sufi-bara (ILW), Mukolya, Ndungu (KAM), Kumuudhe (ORM), Be-jelo (REN), Lkinoi (SAM), Kumuhde, Wa-Anri (SOM). The fruit is edible, and the root-bark wool is used to stuff pillows; in the second world war it was used as "floatite" for lifejackets.

Lannea alata

2. Lannea fulva (Engl.) Engl.

Shrub or tree 3-9m; bark rough. Leaves with 1-3(5) leaflets, the terminal elliptic to slightly obovate, 4-10 by 3-6cm; dark green above, yellow-white stellate-tomentose beneath. Flowers yellow-green, in 4-12cm long "spikes"; petals about 1mm long. Fruit purple, ellipsoid, 7-10 by 5-7mm, glabrous.

K235; 950-1500m; V, IX *

Rocky bushland, wooded grassland or thickets.

Lumubumbu (LUH), Gorot, Lolotwa (MAR), Lolotwo (PKT). The fruit is edible; a bark infusion is employed against stomachache by the Pokot.

Lannea fulva

3. Lannea greenwayi Kokwaro

Shrub or tree 1-6m with arching branches; bark smooth, grey. Leaves 1-foliolate or 3(-7)-foliolate on long shoots, leaflets elliptic to obovate, 1-5 by 1-3cm, stellate-pubescent when young but glabrescent. Flowers reddish, the male in very short spikes; female flowers unknown; petals 1-2mm long. Fruit ellipsoid, 6-9 by 4-5mm, glabrous.

K147; 50-600m; III *

Deciduous (Acacia-Commiphora/Terminalia) bushland on alluvium, or near waterholes.

Nyaldokh (REN).

Lannea greenwayi

4. Lannea humilis (Oliv.) Engl.

Tree 3-6m; flat topped; bark dark grey, spongy. Leaves spaced or on condensed lateral branches with 7-21 leaflets, these usually elliptic, 1-5 by 0.8-3cm, dark green above, whitish stellate-tomentose beneath. Flowers yellow, in 2-5cm long "spikes" on short side branches; petals 2.5-4.5mm long. Fruit ellipsoid, 9-13 by 5-8mm, grey-tomentose.

K23; 1200-1400m; III-IV *

Deciduous bush/woodland, where it often grows in sites of old habitations; dominant in Kongolai area.

Lannea humilis

5. Lannea malifolia (Chiov.) Sacl. RARE

Tree 5-10m. Leaves clustered on short fat side branches, (1)3-7-foliolate; leaflets obovate or broadly elliptic, 1.5-8 by 1-5.5cm, dark above, pale green and stellate-puberulous beneath. Flowers on 3-5.5cm long "spikes"; petals 2-2.5mm long. Fruit obliquely ovoid, 7-8 by 5-8mm, glabrous.

K1; collected once at Melka Cumbisu near Ramu; X *

Acacia-Commiphora bushland.

Kobesh (SOM).

6. Lannea rivae (Chiov.) Sacl.

(L. floccosa Sacl.)

Shrub or tree 1.5-6m with flat, spreading crown; bark grey, smooth or somewhat cracked. Leaves 1(-3)-foliolate, crowded on short fat branches; leaflets (ob)ovate orelliptic, 3-10 by 1.5-8cm, whitish stellate-tomentose beneath. Flowers often precocious, yellow with red tips, in 1-3cm long "spikes"; petals 3-5mm long. Fruit ovoid, 10-14 by 7-11mm, densely tomentose.

K12467; 350-2000m; III, V, VIII-XII (IX)

Wooded grassland, semi-evergreen and deciduous bushland; often in rocky sites.

Andarak (BOR), Kithaalwa (KAM), Ambrori (SAM).

The fruit is edible, and the bark is used for fibre.

Lannea rivae

7. Lannea schimperi (A. Rich.) Engl.

Tree 3.5-7m with spreading crown; bark grey, usually fissured. Leaves with 5-11 leaflets spaced on long shoots or crowded on short fat branches; leaflets elliptic or ovate, 5-15 by 3-7.5cm, rusty-tomentose beneath. Flowers precocious, yellow-green, in up to 22cm long "spikes", petals 3-5mm long. Fruit obliquely ovoid, 8-14 by 4-9mm, glabrous.

K23456; 1300-1900m; III *

Wooded grassland, usually in rocky sites.

Kumugumbu, Mwembu (LUH), Kwetinget (NAN) Lolotwa (MAR), Elopojo (TUR).

Lannea schimperi

8. Lannea schweinfurthii (Engl.) Engl.

[L. stuhlmannii (Engl.) Engl.]

Shrub or tree 3-15(24)m with spreading crown; bark grey, fissured. Leaves with (1) 3-7(9) leaflets, these (broadly) elliptic or - ovate, 2-9 by 2-6cm, glabrous but for the hairy domatia. Flowers cream or greenish-yellow, in "spikes" or panicles 1-20cm long; petals 3-4.5mm long. Fruit pinkish, ellipsoid, 8-12 by 6-8mm, glabrous.

K1234567; 1-1850m; I-V, VII, IX-XII.

Wooded grassland, bushed grassland, semi-evergreen bushland, dry forest, woodland.

Muyumbu-Maji (SWA, GIR), Waharr (BON), Ile, Tile (BOR), Muraci (EMB), Mwethi, Muasi (KAM), Chepchai, Goinyet (KIP), Bongo, Kuogo (LUO), Oropando (MAA), Muhandarako (PKM), Moino (PKT), Den (SOM), Rubandi (TAV), Mwamo (TUG).

The fruit is edible; the bark is used for making tea, rope, and a red-brown dye; a decoction of the bark is employed against headache and stomach-ache; the wood is used to make stools and grain pestles, and Embu blacksmiths used to prefer charcoal made from this tree for smelting iron.

Most of our material is var. stuhlmannii (Engl.) Kokwaro, with broad, obtuse leaflets but on the coast var. acutifoliolata (Engl.) Kokwaro occurs in forests: this has narrower leaflets with acuminate apices.

Lannea schweinfurthii

Lannea schweinfurthii

9. Lannea triphylla (A. Rich.) Engl.

Shrub or tree 2-6(10)m with spreading crown; bark grey, smooth. Leaves crowded on fat spurs, (1)3(5)-foliolate, the leaflets obovate or elliptic, 1-6.5 by 1-7cm, whitish stellate-tomentose beneath. Flowers yellow-green, in 1-3cm long "spikes"; petals 2.5-3mm long. Fruit red, ovoid, 6-9 by 5-8mm, densely tomentose.

K123467; 50-1650m; II-III, IX, XI *

Rich Acacia-Commiphora bushland or wooded grassland, usually in rocky places.

(H)andaraka (BOR), Kitherema (EMB), Muthaalwa (KAM), Korut (MAR), Hadaraku, Handaraku-goldja (ORM), Tapoyo (PKT), Nioldoh (REN), Lanberori (SAM), Anthri, Mu-anri, Wankhr (SOM), Tabuya (TUG), Etopojo (TUR). The fruit is edible, as are the roots; rope is made from the bark.

Lannea triphylla

10. Lannea welwitschii (Hiern) Engl.

var. ciliolata Engl.

(L. amaniensis Engl. & K. Krause)

Tree 10-24m; bark smooth or finely ridged, grey. Leaves with (3)5-13 leaflets, these ovate, 10-15 by 5-7cm, glabrous or with a few stellate hairs. Flowers yellow, in panicles to 20cm long; petals 2.5-3mm long. Fruit ellipsoid, 6-8 by 4-6mm.

K7; 1-450m; I, III *

Dry or moist forest; Diani (common), Gedi, Jadini, Shimbas, Dzombo and Mrima Hill.


Plants with milky latex. Leaves simple, alternate or in whorls of 3, with many parallel nerves. Flowers dioecious, 5-merous, in axillary or terminal panicles. Fruit a drupe.

1. Leaves elliptic, with obtuse or acute apex; widespread 1.O. insignis

* Leaves obovate, with mucronate apex; coastal strip 2.O. obovata

1. Ozoroa insignis Del. ssp. reticulata (Bak.f.) Gillett

[Heeria reticulata (Bak.f.) Engl.]

Shrub or tree 1.5-10m; bark dark grey, reticulately fissured. Leaves alternate or whorled in 3(-4), (narrowly) elliptic, base cuneate or rounded, apex obtuse or acute, 7-23 by 2-9cm, densely hairy and often silky-shiny beneath. Flowers white or cream, in panicles 5-17cm long; petals 2-4mm long. Fruit red to shiny black, transversely ellipsoid, 6-8 by 8-12mm.

K1234567; 1-2000m; I-IX, XI-XII (XII)

Wooded grassland, often on rocky hillslopes.

Garri (BOR), Msangasanga (DIG), Mugadi (KAM), Lemejwet (KIP), Madhari, Nyandumira (LUO), Olokunonoi (MAA), Mutungwa (MAR, TUG), Longononoi (NDO), Kromwo (PKT), Lokononoi (SAM), Chepkitowiondet (SEB), Lopsok-Orongole (TUR). A root decoction or bark infusion is employed against kidney trouble and diarrhoea by the Digo.

Ozoroa insignis

Ozoroa insignis

2. Ozoroa obovata (Oliv.) R. & A. Fernandes

(Heeria mucronata sensu KTS)

Shrub or tree 3-9m. Leaves alternate or whorled in 3, obovate, base cuneate, apex rounded and often mucronate, 2.5-8 by 1.5-2.5cm, densely hairy and silky-shiny beneath. Flowers white, in panicles 4-8cm long; petals 2-2.5mm long. Fruit as in O. insignis.

K7; 1-300m; I-II, IV-VI, XI-XII

Bushland or dry forest/woodland on sand or coral.

Mwaalika (SWA), Mkagukayu (GIR), Kedula, Bangoe (BON), Msalasanga (DIG). The Giriama use a root decoction against stomachache.

Note. Perhaps not distinct from O. insignis: in the Shimba Hills intermediates occur.

Ozoroa obovata


Leaves paripinnate. Inflorescence an axillary spike or raceme. Fruit a drupe.

Pistacia aethiopica Kokwaro

Shrub or tree 3-10(20)m, evergreen; bark resinous, rough, dark brown. Leaves aromatic, with 6-10 opposite leaflets (and rarely with a terminal one); rachis winged; leaflets 1-5 by 0.5-2cm, reddish when young, glabrous. Flowers dioecious, yellowish or cream with red tinge, in racemes 1-5cm long; petals absent, petal-like bracteoles less than 1mm long. Fruit red, round, 4-5mm.

K123456; 800-2400m; X-XII *

Dry forest (Juniperus or Olea/Euclea types) and associated evergreen bushland or thicket. More or less wiped out around Nairobi, as people cut it to get a gum which is chewed.

Musaa (KAM), Muhehete, Mucherere (KIK), Kibirir-gorokiet, Chepkorokwet (KIP), Ol-Daangudwa (MAA), Olongoronok, Iltorel, Lasamarai (SAM), Tulda (TUG). Twigs are used as toothbrushes; wood used for building poles; a root infusion is drunk as tea. The trunk yields a high quality mastic gum.

Pistacia aethiopica Linez. a: flowering branchlet from plant (× ½). b: flower (× 10). c: L.S. flower (× 10). d: flowering branchlet from plant (× ½). e: flower (× 15). f: L.S. flower (× 10). g: fruiting branchlet (× ½). a-c: from Napier 2325; d & e: from Gillett 4697; f: from Gardner 1290; g: from Porter 1111.

Pistacia aethiopica


Dioecious. Leaves imparipinnate, with alternate or opposite leaflets. Flowers 3-4-merous, in axillary panicles. Fruit a drupe.

Pseudospondias microcarpa (A. Rich.) Engl.

Tree 15-20(40)m, strongly buttressed; bark flaking, greyish yellow. Leaves with 5-17 leaflets, these elliptic or ovate, base asymmetric, apex acuminate, 5-20 by 3-8cm, glabrous or nearly so. Flowers whitish, in 10-40cm long panicles; petals 1.5-2mm long. Fruit blue-black, broadly ellipsoid, 15-25 by 10-18mm.

K5; 1100-1600m; XI *

Riparian-, lakeside-, and swamp forest; known from Malaba, Watende, Port Victoria and Bukura.

Omishirinya (LUH), Ochol (LUO). Wood white, not durable.

Pseudospondias microcarpa


Leaves 3-foliolate. Flowers small, usually uni-sexual, 5-merous, in axillary or terminal panicles. Fruit a drupe.

1. Branchlets grey or white; leaves glabrous or nearly so 2. R. natalensis

* Branchlets dark-coloured, or if grey, then leaves hairy 2

2. Leaflets glabrous, or only midrib and veins hairy; margins entire 1. R. longipes

* Leaflets evenly hairy, with entire or toothed margins 3

3. Leaflets usually large, with clear tertiary venation 5

* Leaves small, less than 6 × 2.5cm; tertiary venation faint 4

4. Leaflets with entire margins 3. R. quartiniana

* Leaflets with toothed margins 5. R. tenuinervis

5. Leaflets 6-18 by 3-11cm, broadly toothed in upper half 4. R. ruspolii

* Leaflets 4-11 by 2-6.5cm, entire or slightly toothed 6. R. Vulgaris

Note: there does not seem to be a good way to separate these last two species.

1. Rhus longipes Engl.

Shrub or tree 2-12m, sometimes scandent. Leaflets elliptic or obovate, base cuneate, apex rounded to acute, the terminal 4-12.5 by 1.5-7.5cm, the laterals slightly smaller, glabrous or somewhat hairy on midrib and veins. Flowers greenish-white, in 3-25cm long panicles; petals 1-1.5mm long. Fruit red, round or kidney-shaped, 3-7mm long.

K13567; 1000-2400m; II-III, VI, VIII, X, XII *

Riverine forest; less often in wooded grassland or forest margins.

Seria (MAR), Siriat (NAN).

Note. I consider this as a single, variable species.

Rhus longipes

2. Rhus natalensis Krauss

Shrub or tree 1.5-6m; bark of branchlets pale grey or whitish. Leaflets elliptic or obovate, base cuneate, apex obtuse to emarginate, 2.5-9 by 1-3.5cm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Flowers greenish-cream, in up to 12cm long panicles; petals 1-1.5mm long. Fruit orange, ellipsoid, 5-6mm across.

K1234567; 1-450m (coast) & 1050-2700m; I-XII.

Dry forest margins, (semi-)evergreen bushland, thickets, and wooded grassland.

Mlishangwe (SWA), Dabobiss (BOR), Idamudu (BON), Mugwa-Nyahi (DIG), Dabobbessa (GAB), Mutheu, Kitheu (KAM), Suriet, Sirondet (KIP), Muthigio (KIK), Sangla (LUO), Olmisigiyoi (MAA), Seria (MAR), Siryewo (PKT), Lmisigiyoi (SAM), Sirwo, Siryande (TUG), Ekadetewa (TUR), Siriat, Monjororioyat (NAN), Ilka-Adeis (SOM), Kitariki (TAI). The fruit is edible.

Rhus natalensis

Rhus natalensis

3. Rhus quartiniana A. Rich.

Shrub or tree 2-9m. Leaflets elliptic, base cuneate, apex obtuse or acute, 2-6 by 0.6-2.5cm, sparsely pubescent (and scaly when young). Flowers yellow-green, in 3-10cm long panicles; petals less than 1mm long. Fruit red, round, 3-4mm.

K13456; 700-1950m; I-VI, VIII, XII

Riverine forest, -bushland or - woodland.

Sangla Rau (LUO), Olmisigiyoi (MAA).

Rhus quartiniana

4. Rhus ruspolii Engl.

Shrub or tree 1-4.5m. Leaflets obovate, base cuneate, apex rounded or obtuse, margins crenate in upper half, 6-18 by 3-11cm, short-pubescent. Flowers yellow, in 10-28cm panicles; petals 1-1.5mm long. Fruit red, round, 3-4mm.

K1234; 1500-2400m; I, IV-VIII, X-XII.

Dry forest margins, evergreen bushland and - thicket.

Mushishuna (EMB), Muthigio (KIK), Njowaruwa (SEB), Siwopyoyon, Sirwa (TUG).

Rhus ruspolii

5. Rhus tenuinervis Engl.

Shrub or tree 1-5.5m. Leaflets elliptic or obovate, base cuneate, apex obtuse or rounded, margins crenate in upper half, 1-4 by 0.8-2.5cm, short-pubescent. Flowers in 2-7cm long panicles; petals 1-1.5mm long. Fruit red, round, 5-7mm.

K46; 850-1500m; III, XI-XII *

Wooded grassland, riverine bushland, or bushland on black cotton soil.

Kitheu (KAM). The fruit is edible.

Rhus tenuinervis

6. Rhus vulgaris Meikle

(R. tenuinervis sensu KTS)

Shrub or tree 1-9m; bark smooth, dark brown. Leaflets elliptic or obovate, base cuneate, apex rounded or acute, 4-11 by 2-6.5cm, the laterals smaller than the terminal, densely pubescent; margins sometimes crenate. Flowers cream or greenish-yellow, in 5-20cm long panicles; petals about 1mm long. Fruit red, round 3-5mm.

K13456; 1200-2700m; I-XII.

Wooded grassland, thickets, or (semi-)evergreen bush-land or bushed grassland in rocky sites, dry forest margins.

Kitheu, Mutheu (KAM), Muthigio (KIK), Mon-chororiat, Siriat (KIP), Sangala-Madongo, Mon-jororioyat (LUO), Ol-Misigiyioi, Ol-Munyushi (MAA), Murimuthu (MER), Njowaruwa (SEB). The fruit is edible; a fruit decoction is employed against diarrhoea.

Rhus vulgaris


Schinus molle L.

Tree 3-15m, evergreen; bark deeply fissured, flaking; branchlets hanging. Leaves imparipinnate, with a winged rachis and 20-40 leaflets, these linear-lanceolate, margins entire or dentate, 2-5 by 0.4-0.8cm. Flowers whitish, in hanging panicles to 30cm long; petals about 2mm long. Fruit round, 5-6mm.

Cultivated and gone wild at altitudes of 1400-2100m, in dry situations. Noticeable around Naivasha.

Pepper tree (STAND). Fruits with peppery taste, possibly poisonous.

Schinus molle


Dioecious. Leaves imparipinnate, with (sub-) oppo site leaflets. Male flowers in axillary or subterminal racemes; female flowers 1-2 together; stamens 10-16; styles 3. Fruit a fleshy drupe.

1. Leaves with 7-37 leaflets 1. S. Birrea

* Leaves with 1-3(-9) leaflets 2. S. gillettii

1. Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.

(incl. S. caffra Sond.)

Tree 3.5-15m; bark grey, cracked; branchlets thick. Leaves with 7-21 leaflets, these elliptic or (ob)ovate, 1-9 by 0.7-3.5cm, margins entire or (on young growth) serrate-dentate. Flowers whitish-purple to red, the males in 7-22cm long racemes, the females much shorter; petals 4-6mm long. Fruit yellow, obovoid, 2.5-7.5cm long.

- ssp. birrea: leaflets obtuse or acute at the apex, usually less than 3cm long.

K123467; 800-1800m; III, X *

- ssp. caffra (Sond.) Kokwaro: leaflets acuminate at the apex, usually over 3cm long.

K47; 1-1200m; IV, XI *

Both ssp: wooded grassland, riverine woodland, bushland on rocky hills.

Mngongo (SWA, DIG), Didissa (BOR), Muua (KAM), Ol-Mangwai (MAA), Mura (MER), Oroluo (PKT), Katetalum (SEB), Tololokwo (TUG). The fruit is edible; the wood is used to make bowls by the Pokot; a bark decoction is employed against dysentery, bad liver, and rheumatism by the Pokot.

Sclerocarya birrea

Sclerocarya birrea

2. Sclerocarya gillettii Kokwaro RARE

Shrub or tree 2-5m; bark smooth, grey, flaking; branches not thick. Leaves 1-foliolate on short shoots or 3-7- foliolate on long shoots; leaflets broadly elliptic to - obovate, base cuneate to obtuse to truncate with small mucro, 2-6 by 1.5-4cm, glabrous or with a few stellate hairs. Flowers cream or red, in short panicles to 1.5cm; petals 1.8-2.5mm long. Fruit as in S. birrea.

K17; 50-300m; II *

Dry bushland on red sand. Endemic.

Huda-hudo loni (ORM), Dananiu (SOM). The fruit is edible.

Sclerocarya gillettii


Dioecious. Leaves imparipinnate. Flowers in panicles; stamens 10-21; styles 1. Fruit a drupe.

Sorindeia madagascariensis DC.

(S. obtusifoliolata Engl.)

Tree 8-25m, evergreen; bark greybrown, flaking. Leaves with 7-15 alternate leaflets, these asymmetrically cuneate at base, rounded to acuminate at apex, 9-23 by 3-10cm (lower leaflets diminish in size), glabrous.

Flowers yellow with some pink near the base, in hanging panicles 20-95cm long from older wood; petals 2-4.5mm long. Fruit orange, ellipsoid, 15-25mm long.

K47; 1-1450m; I-III, VII-XI (IX)

Riverine forest, groundwater forest, on the coast also in forest not close to water.

Mtunguma, Mkunguma (SWA, DIG), Msansanza (DUR), Mwebebe (ILW), Nyambembe (PKM), Ngunguma, Mkunguruli (TAI), Mundaraha (TAV). The fruit is quite tasty.

Sorindeia madagascariensis

Sorindeia madagascariensis