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close this bookKenya Trees, Shrubs and Lianas (National Museum of Kenya, 1994, 762 p.)
View the documentAnnonaceae - Soursop family
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View the documentCaesalpiniaceae - Cassia family
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View the documentLabiatae/Lamiaceae - Mint, basil family

Caesalpiniaceae - Cassia family

Trees, shrubs or lianas. Leaves usually pinnate, sometimes bipinnate. Inflorescence usually a spike or panicle of racemes. Flowers rather irregular; petals usually 5; stamens 10 or less, rarely many.

1. Leaves simple 2

* Leaves compound 4

2. Leaves entire 11. Gigasiphon

* Leaves two-lobed at the apex 3

3. Midrib extended for 2-3mm; leaves pubescent, but not rusty, to 12.5cm long 2. Bauhinia

* Midrib not extended; leaves rusty-pubescent beneath, to 17cm long 18. Piliostigma

4. Plants with prickles or spines 5

* Plants unarmed 9

5. Prickles only on the stem and branches 6

* Prickles on stem, branches, and leaf rachis 8

6. Leaf rachis flattened 17. Parkinsonia

* Leaf rachis rounded 7

7. Young branches glabrous; leaflets 4-9mm wide; Central and coast 4. Caesalpinia

* Young branches shortly pubescent; leaflets 1.2-5mm wide; Northeast 17. Parkinsonia

8. Petals to 3mm long; fruit winged; leaf rachis prickles often in three’s 19. Pterolobium

* Petals more than 6mm long; leaf rachis prickles in two’s 30

9. Leaves once pinnate 10

* Leaves bipinnate 25

10. Leaflets alternate 11

* Leaflets opposite 14

11. Leaflets with pellucid dots or streaks 12

* Leaflets without pellucid dots or streaks 13

12. Leaflets rounded at apex, 11-28 per leaf 6. Cordyla

* Leaflets acuminate, 5-7 per leaf 15. Oxystigma

13. Leaflets 5-15 per leaf, subequal 9. Dialium

* Leaflets 3-5 per leaf, the upper much larger than the lower 20. Scorodophloeus

14. Leaflets in 1 pair, gland-dotted 12. Hymenaea

* Leaflets in 2 or more pairs 15

15. Leaves imparipinnate, with a top leaflet 9. Dialium

* Leaves paripinnate, with 2 opposite leaflets at the top 16

16. Leaves without large glands 17

* Leaves with large glands on petiole or rachis 29

17. Leaves with persistent large stipules and petiolule of leaflets twisted 18

* Leaves with caducous stipules or exstipulate, or petiolules straight 19

18. Stipules leafy, 4-47 by 6-30mm, obtuse or acute; flowers white or cream 13. Julbernardia

* Stipules not leafy, 6-16 by 2-8mm, 2-topped; flowers blue or mauve 16. Paramacrolobium

19. Leaflets increasing in size towards the top of the leaf 20

* Leaflets more or less equal 21

20. Petiole 1-5mm long 7. Cynometra

* Petiole 10-30mm long 3. Brachystegia

21. Leaflets glabrous (except sometimes near base) 22

* Leaflets puberulous or pubescent 29

22. Leaflets sessile 23

* Leaflets with a short petiole 24

23. Leaf petiole 1-3mm long 7. Cynometra

* Leaf petiole more than 5mm long 22. Tamarindus

24. Tree 4-24(35)m; petiolules twisted; flowers with 1 petal 1. Afzelia

* Shrub or tree 1-7m; petiolules straight; flowers with 5 petals 5. Cassia

25. Leaflets 0.5-10 by 0.2-5cm; trees of coastal forest 26

* Leaflets less than 3.5 by 1cm; plants of drier sites 27

26. Leaflets subopposite, sessile 4. Caesalpinia

* Leaflets alternate, stalked 10. Erythrophleum

27. Leaflets glabrous 4. Caesalpinia

* Leaflets (minutely) puberulous 28

28. Petals more than 16 by 15mm; fruits 10-27 by 2-3.7cm 8. Delonix

* Petals less than 12 by 7mm; fruits 6.5-13 by 1-2cm 17. Parkinsonia

29. All filaments straight; seeds with an areole on each face 21. Senna

* 3 filaments with a S-bend; seeds smooth, without areoles 5. Cassia

30. Hooks on stem pointing down; fruit winged 14. Mezoneuron

* Hooks on stem straight; fruit not winged 4. Caesalpinia


Trees with paripinnate leaves; stipules with basal parts connate into a persistent scale; petiolules twisted; opposite leaflets, with a small gland beneath near the base. Inflorescence racemose; sepals 4, unequal; petal 1, large. Fruit large, woody.

Afzelia quanzensis Welw.

(A. cuanzensis Welw.)

Tree 4-24(35)m; crown spreading; bark flaking, pale brown or grey. Leaves with 4-6 pairs of leaflets; leaflets ovate or elliptic, base cuneate or rounded, apex rounded or obtuse, often emarginate, 4-13 by 3-7cm. Inflorescence erect, 2-7.5cm; sepals 0.9-1.7cm long; petal red or pink inside, green ouside, bilobed at apex, 2.5-4.5 by 2.2-3.8cm. Fruit 12-23 by 5-10cm, woody, with black seeds with a red aril at the base.

K7; 1-450m; III-IV, IX

Woodland, dense bushland, or dry evergreen forest (edges). Common in Arabuko-Sokoke.

Afzelia (STAND), Mahogany Bean, Lucky Bean Tree (TRADE), Mbambakofi (SWA, GIR), Jamagi, Ram-Ed (BON), Ramicha (SAN). Wood shipworm-resistant, durable in the ground; used in furniture-making.

Afzelia quanzensis

Afzelia quanzensis


Leaves simple, bilobed, with midrib extending for 2-3mm. Flowers large, solitary or in few-flowered racemes. Calyx spathaceous; petals 5. Fruit oblong to linear, more or less woody.

1. Flowers white; leaves 1-3.5cm long; fruit 2-4cm long 2. B. taitensis

* Flowers yellow; leaves 1-7cm long; fruit 6-13cm long 2

2. Leaves wider than long, apices rounded 3. B. tomentosa

* Leaves longer than wide, apices more or less pointed 1. B. mombassae

1. Bauhinia mombassae Vatke ENDANGERED

Small shrub, size unknown. Leaves bilobed for one third or half, base cordate, apices obtuse or acute, 3.5-12.5 by 4-10cm, densely pubescent beneath. Flowers yellow, orange near base, one petal crimson near base, 3-5cm long. Fruit 7-12 by 1.4-2cm.

K7; 1-150m?; *

Riverbanks: Njora, Kombeni, Mwachi and Lwandani Rivers.

2. Bauhinia taitensis Taub.

Shrub 0.5-2.5(4)m. Leaves bilobed for half or three-fifths, base rounded or truncate, apices rounded, 1-3.5 by 1.5-5cm, pubescent. Flowers white, solitary, often produced with the young leaves, petals 1.3-2.4 by 0.5-1cm. Fruit brown, apex apiculate, 2-4 by 1-1.3cm, tomentose.

K147; 100-800m; II-VI, VIII-XII

Open or dense (Acacia-Commiphora) bushland, may be locally common. Endemic.

Mukira, Viga (BOR).

Bauhinia taitensis

3. Bauhinia tomentosa L.

Shrub or tree 1-7.5m; bark grey-brown. Leaves bilobed to one third or less (rarely to halfway), base (sub) cordate or truncate, apices rounded, 1-7 by 1.5-9cm, glabrous or pubescent (beneath). Flowers yellow with crimson blotch near base of 1-3 petals, these 3-6 by 2-4.6cm. Fruit light brown, 6-13 by 1.3-2cm, puberulous or pubescent.

K1467; 1-2100m; I-II, IV-XII.

Dry forest edges, riverine forest or bushland, wooded grassland or deciduous bushland.

Musaponi (SWA), Abertaba (t) (BOR), Mulema, Muandia, Mucundia, (KAM), Murema (KIK), Mwangu (MER), Lechoro (SAM), Engomomur (TUR).

Note: Bauhinia buscalionii Mattei has been found once on the Wajir-El Wak road as a shrublet of 40cm. In Somalia this occurs as a shrub in dry bushland, and may be up to 1.5m high. It would key out as B. tomentosa, but differs in the shorter stipules.

Bauhinia tomentosa

Bauhinia tomentosa


Trees with paripinnate, stipulate leaves. Leaflets sessile, opposite. Inflorescence in terminal racemes. Flowers zygomorphic. Stamens 10. Fruit flat, woody, dehiscing elastically, the valves becoming spirally twisted.

Brachystegia spiciformis Benth.

Tree 6-21m; crown rounded or flat (in old trees); bark rough, greybrown. Flush red or pink. Leaves with 2-6 pairs of leaflets; leaflets subcircular or (ob) ovate, base cuneate to cordate, often asymmetrical, apex emarginate or rounded, 2-9 by 1-4cm, glabrous to tomentellous, midrib central or eccentric; leaflets increasing in size towards the top of the rachis. Flowers green with white filaments, small, to 6mm, in inflorescences to 6cm long; tepals 0-2. Fruit yellowish or brown, thinly woody, apex long-apiculate, 6-16.5 by 2-4.5cm.

K7; 1-350m; I-II, IV, XI-XII *

Dry forest or woodland, often locally dominant; often as an ecotone between (Afzelia) forest and the drier bushland more inland.

Spiciformis (STAND), Mrihi (SWA, DIG, GIR), Mjombo (GIR), Sorsor (SAN). Bark used to make rope. Timber used for canoes.

Brachystegia spiciformis

Brachystegia spiciformis


(Climbing) shrubs or trees, usually with spines or prickles. Leaves bipinnate. Inflorescences of dense terminal and/or axillary racemes or panicles. Flowers bisexual or bisexual and male (in C. bonduc and C. volkensii). Petals 5, stamens 10. Fruit flattened, oblong, asymmetric.

1. Stems and leaves unarmed 2

* Stems and leaves with prickles 3

2. Tree to 20m; leaflets 5-80 by 2-30mm; petals 3-4mm wide 5. C. insolita

* Shrub to 6m; leaflets 5-20 by 4-9mm; petals 10-20mm wide 6. C. pulcherrima

3. Leaflets acuminate, more than 30 by 15mm; (riverine) forest 8. C. volkensii

* Leaflets rounded at apex, less than 20 by 9mm, or seashore plant 4

4. Seashore plant; fruit prickly; leaflets 13-45 by 8-22mm 1. C. bonduc

* Inland plants; fruits not prickly; leaflets 2-20 by 1-9mm 5

5. Leaflets in 3-5 pairs; prickles only at nodes; flowers yellow 4. C. erianthera

* Leaflets in 5 or more pairs; prickles scattered, or if at the nodes, then flowers red and yellow 6

6. Stamens long-exserted; flowers red and yellow 6. C. pulcherrima

* Stamens exserted for less than 15mm 7

7. Flowers mauve or purple; pedicel 1-2.4cm long 7. C. trothae

* Flowers yellow or (pinkish) white; pedicel less than 0.8cm long 8

8. Flowers (pinkish) white; leaflets 6-12mm long; NE Kenya 2. C. dauensis

* Flowers yellow; leaflets 10-20mm long; widespread 3. C. decapetala

1. Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.

Shrub, sometimes scrambling, 1-3(5)m. Stems armed with straight or slightly deflexed prickles to 5mm, densely set. Stipules leafy, 2-3, unequal, 0.3-2.5 by 0.2-3.6cm. Leaves with prickles, pinnae in 3-9 pairs; leaflets in 6-9 pairs per pinna, ovate or elliptic, apex rounded or emarginate, often mucronate, 1.3-4.5 by 0.8-2.2cm. Flowers yellow, with pink or red markings on upper petal; petals 12-13 by 3-4mm. Fruit densely prickly, elliptic, 4.5-8 by 3.5-4.5cm.

K7; 0-15m; I, VII, IX-XI*

Along seashore or in sanddunes.

Mkomwe, Mkete (SWA), Mburuga (GIR), Musadyeqa (ILW), Sadek (ORM).

Caesalpinia bonduc

2. Caesalpinia dauensis Thulin


Shrub, about 2.5m. Stems armed with rather scattered straight or slightly deflexed prickles to 7mm. Leaves with prickles; pinnae in 3-5 pairs; leaflets in 7-11 pairs per pinnae, elliptic, apex rouned and mucronate, 0.6-1.2 by 0.2-0.5mm. Flowers (pinkish) white, petals 9-10 by 4-4.5mm; inflorescence with whitish bracts. Young fruit beaked, unarmed.

K1; 400-600m; V, X *

Collected twice in the Daua R. Valley (NE Kenya) on limestone slopes in Acacia-Commiphora woodland.

3. Caesalpinia decapetala (Roth) Alston

(Climbing) shrub 0.5-10m. Stems armed with scattered straight or deflexed prickles to 8mm. Stipules 4-20 by 2-8mm. Leaves with prickles; pinnae in 4-10 pairs; leaflets in 8-12 pairs per pinna, elliptic or obovate, apex rounded, 1-2 by 0.3-0.8cm. Flowers yellow, petals 10-15 by 8-15mm, the upper somewhat smaller. Fruit (reddish-) brown, beaked. 6-10 by 2-3cm.

K23457; 650-2050m; I-VI, IX-XII

Forest edges, bushland, roadsides. Originally from Asia but gone wild.

Kitandambo (KAM), Mubagi (KIK), Olunani (LUH), Matata/Okwato (LUO).

Roots poisonous. Widely used as a hedge plant.

Caesalpinia decapetala

4. Caesalpinia erianthera Chiov.

var. pubescens Brenan

Shrub to 2m. Stems with recurved prickles at the nodes, 2-5mm. Leaves with minute prickles; 2-6 pairs of pinnae; leaflets 3-5 pairs per pinnae, elliptic or subcircular, 0.2-0.8 by 0.1-0.6cm. Flowers (greenish-) yellow, petals 5-6.5 by 3-6mm. Fruit crimson when young, beaked, 1.7-2.3 by 0.5-0.7cm.

K1; 450-750m; V*

Collected rarely, but reported to be common between Ramu and Mandera; Acacia-Commiphora bush- or woodland.

Kodi (BOR, SOM).

Caesalpinia erianthera

5. Caesalpinia insolita (Harms) Brenan & Gillett

(C. dalei Brenan & Gillett, C. sp. nov. of KTS) VULNERABLE

Tree 16-20m, buttressed; bark smooth, grey. Branches unarmed. Leaves with 1-10 pairs of pinna; leaflets in 2-12 pairs per pinnae, elliptic and often asymmetric (rhombic), apex obtuse, 0.5-8 by 0.2-3cm. Flowers yellow, petals 9-11 by 3-4mm. Fruit beaked, 4.5-6 by 1.5-2cm.

K7; 1-300m; IX *

Collected at Mwena River, Mwachi, Kivara and Kambe, in evergreen forest.

6. Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Sw.

Shrub 1-6m. Stems unarmed or occasionally with spines at the nodes, rarely sparsely scattered. Leaves with 3-10 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 5-11 pairs per pinnae, elliptic, apex rounded, 0.5-2 by 0.4-0.9cm. Flowers red and yellow, petals 15-25 by 10-20mm; filaments 5-6.5cm long. Fruit black-brown or purplish, asymmetric, 7-12 by 1.8-2.2cm.

K47; 1-2000m; II, VIII*

Naturalized, most often found as a relic from cultivation; originally from America.

7. Caesalpinia trothae Harms

(Incl. C. erlangeri Harms)

Shrub, 0.3-4.5m, occasionally scrambling. Stems with scattered, deflexed prickles to 9mm. Leaves with prickles, with pinnae in 3-17 pairs; leaflets in 4-33 pairs per pinnae, (narrowly) elliptic, 4-10 by 1-4mm. Flowers pinkish-purple or mauve, one petal with yellow centre; petals 9-20 by 5-15mm. Fruit (reddish-) brown, beaked, 1.5-5 by 1.5-2.2cm.

K147; 100-750m; I-II, IV-VI, VIII, X-XI

(Acacia-Commiphora) bushland, often on seasonally flooded spots.

Gorgor (BOR), Hamares (ORM), Gora, Furgurgur (SOM). Good camel browse. Fruits poisonous.

NOTE: As there are many intermediates between the subspecies proposed by Brenan in FTEA, I have treated all specimens as a single species, without subdivisions.

Caesalpinia trothae

Caesalpinia trothae

8. Caesalpinia volkensii Harms

Climber or liana, 1.8-4 (++)m. Stems with deflexed prickles to 5mm. Leaves with prickles; pinnae in 3-6 pairs; leaflets in 3-6 pairs, ovate, apex (obtusely) acuminate, 3-8 by 1.5-4cm. Flowers yellow; petals about 16 by 3.5-4.5mm. Fruit densely prickly, beaked, 7-13 by 3.5-6.5cm.

K4567; 1-2100m; III-V, IX, XI *

Evergreen or riverine forest.

Mburuga (DIG), Mubuthi (KIK), Olnkulankulei (MAA), Omukbare (WAT). Used in malaria medicine by the Kikuyu.

Caesalpinia volkensii

5. CASSIA (see also SENNA)

Leaves paripinnate, often with conspicuous glands on petiole or rachis. Inflorescence racemose. Flowers normally bisexual. Petals 5, the upper ones often slightly smaller. Stamens usually 10, with pores or slits. Fruit very variable.

1. Leaflets puberulous or pubescent; inflorescence to 9cm long (may flower when leafless) 1. C. abbreviata

* Leaflets glabrous (except at base); inflorescence more than 15cm long 2. C. afrofistula

1. Cassia abbreviata Oliv.

Shrub or more often tree, 3-10m; crown rounded; bark cracked, brown (-grey). Leaves with 5-12 pairs of leaflets, ovate-elliptic, apex rounded to subacute, 2-7 by 1-3cm, usually puberulous or pubescent. Often flowering when leafless. Flowers yellow, petals 1.5-3.5 by 0.7-1.8cm. Fruits greygreen or black, cylindrical to slightly flattened, 30-90 by 1.5-2.5cm, glabrous or velvety.

K147; 1-1000m; II-V, VIII-XI

(Acacia-Commiphora) bushland, less often in woodland or wooded grassland.

Mbaraka (SWA), Kang (BON), Rabiya (BOR), Muhumba mkulu (DIG, GIR), Malandesi (KAM), Msoka (PKM), Domader/Rabuya (SOM), Domaderi (SOM), Msoko, Mukangu (TAI). Bark used for tanning by the Somali; plant used in stomach medicine by the Digo.

Note. Brenan in FTEA distinguishes, in Kenya, ssp. beareana (Holmes) Brenan with spreading pubescence on the axils of the inflorescence, and petals 18-30 by 9-15mm: and ssp. kaessneri (Bak.f.) Brenan with appressed pubescence on the axils, and petals 15-20 by 7-10mm. Specimens occur in Kenya with these characters mixed (e.g. Mungai et al. 374/83, Green-way 9229, Heady 1248). But mostly the subspecies seem to be geographically separate, with ssp. beareana occuring at lower altitudes in Coast Province only.

Cassia abbreviata

Cassia abbreviata

2. Cassia afrofistula Brenan

Shrub or tree 1-7m. Leaves with 4-9 pairs of leaflets; leaflets ovate, apex obtuse or acute, 2-10 by 1.5-5cm, glabrous. Flowers yellow in large (to 40cm) terminal panicle; petals 15-30 by 10-20mm. Fruit blackish-brown, (sub-) cylindrical, brittle, 20-60 by 1-1.5cm.

K7; 1-250m: II-III, V, VII-IX *

Coastal evergreen bushland and forest edges.

African Laburnum (STAND), Mbaraka mtoto (SWA), Kionge (BON), Wasamara (SAN).

Cassia afrofistula


Leaves alternate, imparipinnate; stipules caducous; leaflets alternate, with numerous pellucid dots or streaks. Flowers bisexual or male, in mostly axillary racemes. Calyx splitting into 3-5 lobes on opening. Petals 0. Stamens many. Fruits stipitate.

Cordyla africana Lour.

Tree 6-40m; crown rounded or spreading, outer branches pendulous; bark brown, flaky. Leaves with 11-28 leaflets, leaflets elliptic or ovate, base and apex rounded, 2-5 by 1.2-2.4cm, minutely puberulous beneath. Flowers green, with orange-yellow stamens, in racemes 1.5-11cm long, usually borne below this years’ leaves. Fruit orange-yellow, ellipsoid or globose, more or less oblique, 4.5-8 by 3-6cm.

K7; 1-900m; IV *

Evergreen (swamp) forest or coastal evergreen bush-land.

Cordyla (STAND), Munbwa (SWA), Muyumgwi/mnyungwi Nyungwi (DIG), Mroma (TAI). Wood used for building.

Cordyla africana

Cordyla africana


Leaves pinnate with opposite leaflets. Inflorescence paniculate. Sepals 4, petals 5, stamens (usually) 10. Fruit woody, stipitate, usually flat but in C. lukei ellipsoid.

1. Leaves with 4 leaflets 2

* Leaves with (4)6-8 leaflets 3

2. Upland species 4. C. sp. 1

* Coastal lowland species 2. C. suaheliensis

3. Leaflet apex rounded or obtuse; fruit flat 3. C. webberi

* Leaflet apex emarginate; fruit ellipsoid 1. C. lukei

1. Cynometra lukei Beentje VULNERABLE

Tree 10-15 m; crown spreading; trunk often fluted; bark smooth, greyish. Leaves with 4-6 leaflets; leaflets obliquely elliptic, apex obtuse and emarginate, 0.6-5.5 by 0.5-3.4 cm, glabrous. Flowers white; petals 3.8-4.5 mm long. Fruit ellipsoid-obovoid, tuberculate, 2.2-7 by 1.4-1.7 cm.

K7; 1-50m; VII-IX*

Riverine forest.

Mupakata (ILW), Mpakata (PKM).

Cynometra lukei

2. Cynometra suaheliensis (Taub.) Bak.f.

(incl. C. greenwayi Brenan)

Tree 7-12m, evergreen; occasionally buttressed near base; bark pale or reddish brown, peeling and smooth. Leaves with 4 leaflets; leaflets asymmetrically obovate or elliptic, apex obtuse or. rounded, 2.5-8 by 1.2-4.4cm. Flowers white; petals 3.5-5.5mm long. Fruit beaked at apex, 4-6 by 2-3cm.

K7; 1-350m; I, XI-XII*

Evergreen dry forest, riverine forest, coastal evergreen bushland.

Mfunda (SWA, DUR). The wood is hard and dense.

Note: The differences with C. greenwayi as enumerated by Brenan in KB 17:211 (1963) do not hold, now that more material is available (e.g. Gillett & Robertson 24011). I therefore consider the type and single specimen, Greenway 10440, to be this species.

Cynometra suaheliensis

Cynometra suaheliensis

3. Cynometra webberi Bak.f.

(Shrubby) tree 4.5-12m, evergreen; occasionally buttressed; bark smooth, light grey. Leaves with (4-)6-8 leaflets; leaflets slightly asymmetric, elliptic or obovate, apex rounded or obtuse, 1-3 by 0.5-1.8cm. Flowers white; petals 3.5-4.5mm long. Fruit slightly beaked, 4-6 by 2.6-3.3cm.

K7; 1-300m; IX-XII *.

Dry evergreen forest, Brachystegia woodland, riverine forest.

Mfunda (SWA), Mudodoma (GIR), Sakucha (SAN). The wood is hard and dense.

Cynometra webberi

4. Cynometra sp. 1

In the Taita Hills forests, a tree occurs which is, in places, the dominant canopy tree (to 40m high). It has not yet been found with stipules, flowers or fruits. The size of the leaves (leaflets 4, up to 13 by 5.5cm) makes it likely that this is the same species as either C. longipedicellata (stipules foliaceous), or sp. ‘A’ of FTEA (stipules linear), or C. suaheliensis (stipules? absent).

K7; 1650-1850m; -

Moist upland forest, Taita Hills only.


Trees with bipinnate leaves; leaflets opposite. Inflorescence of short axillary corymbs, near top of branch-lets. Flowers large, with 5 clawed petals; stamens 10. Fruits flattened, linear-oblong.

1. Leaflets 10-35 by 4-10mm 1. D. baccal

* Leaflets 4-17 by 1-3(4)mm 2. D. elata

1. Delonix baccal (Chiov.) Bak.f.

Tree 6-18m with umbrella-shaped crown; bark smooth and grey, peeling in papery strips. Leaves with 2-5 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 6-15 pairs per pinna, elliptic, 1-3.5 by 0.4-1cm, minutely puberulous. Flowers mauve-yellow and white; petals 2.8-5.5 by 1.5-2.2cm, the uppermost largest. Fruits 11-24 by 2.2-3.5cm.

K1; 450-850m; VII, X*

Rocky Acacia-Commiphora bushland or in riverine woodland on limestone.

Balanga (BOR), Bakal (SOM).

Delonix baccal

2. Delonix elata (L.) Gamble

Tree, 2.5-15m, with spreading crown; bark yellow-brown, smooth, sometimes flaking, occasionally described as shiny. Leaves with 2-12 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 11-25 pairs, oblong, 0.4-1.7 by 0.1-0.3(0.4)cm, puberulous. Flowers white with the uppermost petal yellow, fading to orange; petals 1.6-3.8 by 1.8-4.2cm, with irregular margins. Fruits redbrown or purplebrown, base cuneate, apex acute to beaked, 10-27 by 2-3.7cm.

K123456; 100-1200m; I-XII

(Acacia-Commiphora) bushland on rocky soil or lava; occasionally riverine or along luggas.

Sukella (BOR, GAB), Sukele (ILW, ORM), Muangi (KAM), Ol-Tangoringoroi, Ol-Derkesi (MAA), Ririon (PKT), Bubunto (REN), Laichimi, Lawai (SAM), Lebbi (SOM), Ekurinchanait (TUR). Wood used for utensils by the Turkana. Easily grown from poles. The leaves are said to close at night.

Delonix elata

Delonix elata


Trees. Leaves imparipinnate, leaflets opposite or alternate. Inflorescence of lateral and terminal many-flowered panicles. Flowers irregular; petals 0; stamens 2. Fruit ellipsoid or subglobose, 1-2 seeded.

1. Leaflets (9)11-15, (5)7.5-18mm long 1. D. holtzii

* Leaflets (5)7-9, 3.5-5 (7)mm long 2. D. orientale

1. Dialium holtzii Harms

Tree 12-25m, slightly buttressed at base; bark smooth, grey or grey-brown. Leaves with 9-15 leaflets; leaflets ovate (lowermost) or elliptic, base rounded or somewhat cuneate, apex obtusely acuminate, 3-7 by 1.5-2.8cm, glabrous or nearly so. Flowers white or yellow, in panicles up to 30 by 15cm; flowers to 2.5mm long. Fruits brown, 13-18 by 10-13mm, puberulous.

K7; collected at Buda, Gongoni and Pangani, alt. 1-100m, in moist forest on limestone. Also? at Kivara, at 300m.

2. Dialium orientale Bak.f.

Tree or multistemmed shrub 3-18m; crown flattish, spreading and drooping; bark smooth, pale grey. Leaves with 5-9 leaflets; leaflets ovate (lowermost) or elliptic, base cuneate, rounded, or subcordate, apex obtuse or rounded (acuminate), 1.5-5 by 1-3.2cm, sparsely pubescent (esp. midrib) to subglabrous. Flowers (greenish-) cream or yellow, in panicles up to 30 by 20cm; flowers to 2.5mm long. Fruits reddish, 13-18 by 10-13mm, puberulous.

K7; 1-100m; I-II, VIII-XI, XI-XII *. Endemic to Kenya, NE Tanzania and S Somalia.

Evergreen dry forest, Brachystegia woodland, evergreen bushland, clump grassland.

Mpepeta (SWA), Sheshubla (BON), Mtsumbwi (GIR), Shoshobli, Shusholwe (SAN), Frim (SOM). Fruit edible. Wood fine-textured, used for dhow ribs.

Dialium orientale

Dialium orientale


Trees with bipinnate leaves; leaflets alternate. Inflorescences of pedunculate, spike-like racemes, usually aggregated in panicles. Petals 5, equal, pubescent. Stamens 10. Fruits stipitate, woody, flattened.

Erythrophleum suaveolens (Guill. & Perr.) Brenan

(E. guineense G. Don)

Tree 12-30m; bark rough, brown, fissured. Leaves with pinnae in 2-4 pairs; leaflets 7-14 per pinnae, ovate or elliptic, usually asymmetric, apex obtusely acuminate, 3-10 by 1.5-5.3cm, glabrous or nearly so. Flowers cream or greenish-yellow, 2-3mm long, in 3-8cm long spikes. Fruits often slightly curved, 8-17 by 3-5cm.

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

Evergreen wet forest, swamp forest, (Hyphaene) wooded grassland.

Missanda, ordeal tree (common), Mbaraka mkuu/Mkelekele (SWA), Kina (BON). Bark and seed poisonous. The bark contains tannin, and produces a dye. The timber is resistant to termites and borers, and is very durable.

Erythrophloeum suaveolens

Erythrophloeum suaveolens


Leaves simple. Flowers large, in short terminal racemes. Petals 5, stamens 10. Fruit oblong, woody.

Gigasiphon macrosiphon (Harms) Brenan

(G. humblotianum sensu KTS) ENDANGERED

Tree 12-24m; crown rounded; bark smooth, grey. Leaves broadly ovate, base (sub-)cordate, apex acuminate, 9-20 by 7-16cm, 5-veined from base, subglabrous. Flowers white with one (partly) yellow petal, petals 9-13 by 4-6cm. Fruits greyblack, flattened, 20-30 by 6-7.5cm.

K7; 100-250m; I, V-VIII *

Moist evergreen forest. Only known from Mrima, Gongoni, Muhaka and Marenje forests (and coastal Tanzania).

Gigasiphon macrosiphon


Leaves with one pair of leaflets; leaflets with gland-dots. Inflorescence paniculate. Sepals 4, 2 outer and 1 inner; petals 5, either 3 large and 2 tiny, or occasionally equal. Stamens 10. Fruits thick, woody, warted, 1-3 seeded.

Hymenaea verrucosa Gaertn.

[Trachylobium verrucosum (Gaertn.) Oliv.]

Tree 6-30m; bark grey or puplebrown, smooth or striated. Leaves with 2 leaflets; leaflets asymmetric, ovate or elliptic, base unequal and cuneate, apex short and obtusely acuminate, 3.5-12 by 2-6cm, (sub-) glabrous. Flowers white or pink, to 2cm long, in panicles up to 35 by 25cm. Fruits (ob-) ovoid or ellipsoid, warted and resinous, 2.5-5 by 1.5-3cm.

K7; 1-400m; III-IV*

Dry evergreen forest (in Tanzania also in coastal evergreen bushland).

Mtandarusi, Gum Copal Tree (STAND), Mnyanza (SWA), Msandarusi (GIR, DIG), Musange (GIR), Sibile (SAN). Used for timber; produces gum copal, used in high quality varnishes.

Hymenaea verrucosa

Hymenaea verrucosa


Leaves paripinnate; petiolules usually twisted; leaflets opposite, asymmetric at base. Flowers in large terminal panicles. Petals 5, stamens 10. Fruits flattened, elastically dehiscing.

Julbernardia magnistipulata (Harms) Troupin.

Tree 6-25m (once in flower as a bush, 2.5m), with buttressed base (always?); bark grey, smooth. Leaves with large (-5 by 3cm) stipules, and 2-3 pairs of leaflets; leaflets asymmetric, elliptic or slightly (ob) ovate, 6-14 by 2.3-7cm, glabrous. Flowers white or cream, one petal to 7 by 6mm, the others 2-5 by 1-1.5mm; panicles to 20cm long. Fruits oblong, 5.5-14 by 2.5-3.5cm, glabrous when mature.

K7; 1-400m; VIII-X *

Dry or moist evergreen forest, Brachystegia woodland, creek edges.

Msahe (GIR), Mkue/Mkwe/Mukuwa (SWA, DIG). Bark fibre used for rope.

Julbernardia magnistipulata

Julbernardia magnistipulata


Leaves bipinnate; leaflets opposite. Inflorescence racemose; sepals 5; petals 5, subequal. Fruit flat, winged along the upper side.

Mezoneuron angolense Oliv. (no plate)

Liana to 12m, with hooked spines on stem and leaf-rachis. Leaves with 4-10 pairs of pinnae; leaflets 4-9 pairs per pinna, 10-20 by 6-15mm. Inflorescence 5-40cm long, simple or branched; petals yellow, 6.5-9mm long. Fruit 8.5-14.5 by 2.8-4.7cm, leathery.

K7; 1-50m; -*

Witu forest.


Leaves (im-) paripinnate, leaflets alternate, with pellucid gland-dots. Inflorescence of spike-like racemes arranged in a panicle; petals absent; stamens 10. Fruits flattened, asymmetric, 1-seeded.

Oxystigma msoo Harms VULNERABLE, ?ENDANGERED

Tree 25-50m; bark pale grey, slightly flaky. Leaves with 5-7 leaflets; leaflets ovate or elliptic, base rounded or cuneate, apex (slightly) acuminate, 4-14 by 2-7cm, glabrous. Flowers (yellowish) white, to 2.5mm long; spike-like branches of inflorescence 7-17.5cm long. Fruits obovate-elliptic, somewhat winged, 4-6 by 2.5cm.

K7; 1-100m; II, VII*

Evergreen forest or riverine forest; recently only found at Pangani and in the Tana delta.

Muchuwa (PKM). Wood soft, liable to borer attack, but used to make canoes.

Oxystigma msoo


Leaves paripinnate, with persistent 2-topped stipules; petiolules twisted; leaflets opposite. Flowers in compact terminal panicles; petals 5, stamens 9. Fruit woody.

Paramacrolobium coeruleum (Taub.) Léonard

Tree 4-18; crown spreading, with drooping branches; bark greybrown, fairly smooth, with fine striations. Leaves with 2-5 pairs of somewhat falcate leaflets: narrowly ovate or elliptic, base rounded or cuneate, apex gradually acuminate, 5-10 by 2-4.5cm, glabrous or nearly so. Flowers blue or mauve, with one large (3-3.5 by 1-2.3cm) obovate petal, 2 much smaller ones, and 2 minute ones. Fruit 8.5-18 by 2.5-5cm.

K7, 1-450m; I-II, V *

Moist evergreen forest or Brachystegia forest/woodland, often forming clumps: Shimba Hills and South Coast.

Mkwe (SWA), Mkua, Mrihi (DIG). The bark produces a rough fibre.

Paramacrolobium coeruleum


Shubs or trees. Leaves bipinnate; leaflets opposite or (P. aculeata) partly alternate, sometimes much reduced. Inflorescence of axillary racemes. Petals 5, the uppermost with a pronounced claw. Stamens 10. Fruit flat or swollen.

1. Branches with spines 2

* Branches unarmed 2. P. anacantha

2. Pinnae in 1-3 pairs, with flattened rachis to 40cm long 1. P. aculeata

* Pinnae in 2-8 pairs, with rounded rachis to 12cm long 3. P. scioana

1. Parkinsonia aculeata L.

Shrub or small tree 0.5-7m; bark smooth, green. Branches with single or paired spines at the nodes; spines straight, 3-16mm. Leaves with 1-3 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in many pairs per pinna, on a flattened rachis. Leaflets to 5 by 1.5mm. Flowers yellow, in long racemes. Fruits 6-11 by 0.5-0.7cm, constricted between the seeds.

K1267; 1-1800m; IV, VI-X *

Native to America, cultivated and gone wild in places; often in riverine or swampy situations in dry areas. Muk-bee (ORM).

Parkinsonia aculeata

2. Parkinsonia anacantha Brenan

Shrub or many-stemmed tree 1.5-5m; bark reddish-brown. Leaves with 2-6 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 4-17 pairs per pinna, elliptic, apex rounded, 3-17 by 2-7mm, puberulous. Flowers golden yellow, petals 10-12 by 4-7mm. Fruits flattened, narrowly elliptic, apex acute, 6.5-13 by 1-2cm.

K1247; 400-900m; IV, X-XII *.

Endemic to Kenya.

Semi-desert scrub or dry bushland.

The wood is used for small implements.

Parkinsonia anacantha

Parkinsonia anacantha

3. Parkinsonia scioana (Chiov.) Brenan

(Peltophoropsis scioana Chiov.)

Shrub or small tree, 1.5-5m; spreading, branching near base. Branches with paired spines at the nodes, 2-5mm long, straight or hooked. Leaves with 2-8 pairs of pinnae; leaflets in 3-6 per pinna, elliptic, apex rounded, 2-9 by 1.2-5mm, puberulous. Flowers yellow, petals 6-8 by 1.5-4.5mm, the upper one largest. Fruits yellowish or red-brown, flattened, narrowly elliptic, apex acute, 4.5-9.5 by 1-2.5cm.

K1; 200-750m; -*

Acacia-Commiphora bushland.

Kodi (BOR).

Parkinsonia scioana


Leaves simple, bilobed. Inflorescences alternately leaf-opposed and axillary, paniculate. Flowers unisexual, dioecious. Petals 5; stamens 10, reduced to staminodes in female flowers. Fruits linear or oblong.

Piliostigma thonningii (Schumach.) Milne-Redh.

Shrub or tree 2-7.5m; bark grey or dark brown, rough. Leaves bilobed for 12-33%, 8-17 by 9-19cm, (densely) pubescent beneath. Flowers white or pink, petals 14-26mm long. Fruits woody, dark brown or blackish, 13-26 by 3-6cm.

K34567; 1-2150m; I-II, IV-VII, XII

(Combretum) wooded grassland or scattered tree grassland, often common or dominant.

Camel’s Foot (STAND), Mchekeche (SWA, DIG), Mukolokolo (KAM), Otangalo (LUO), Kumuyenjayenja (LUH), Ol-Sagararami, Ol-Bugoi (MAA), Kipsakiat (NAN), Sadiandet (SEB). Wood used to make bows by the Maasai; also used for small implements; the bark contains tannin and yields a red dye and cough medicine; the pods and seeds yield a blue dye.

Piliostigma thonningii

Piliostigma thonningii


Climbing shrubs with prickles on stem and leaves. Leaves bipinnate; leaflets opposite. Petals 5, equal; stamens 10. Fruits 1-seeded, with a large wing on one side.

Pterolobium stellatum (Forssk.) Brenan

Scrambler or climbing shrub 2-15m. Branches with 2 reflexed prickles at the nodes. Leaves with the rachis armed with pairs or threes of prickles; pinnae in 5-13 pairs; leaflets in 7-15 pairs, 4-12 by 2-5mm, glabrous or pubescent. Flowers creamy-yellow, to 3mm long, in spikes 5-13cm long; spikes arranged in panicles. Fruits (purplish-) red, with a wing 2.5-4.5 by 1-2cm.

K123456; 1000-2250m; I-XII

Riverine thickets/bush/woodland, dry or moist forest (edges) bushland, tree grassland.

Kipkoskosit (KIP, NDO), Osiri madongo (LUO), Engisar ngaduin (MAA), Korkos (NAN), Kisibiri (TUG). A root decoction is used by the Maasai against stomachache.

Pterolobium stellatum

Pterolobium stellatum


Leaves pinnate. Inflorescence racemose. Sepals 4; petals 5, subequal; stamens 10. Fruits flattened, woody.

Scorodophloeus fischeri (Taub.) J. Léonard

Tree 5-30m with small buttresses; bark smooth, grey. Leaves with 3-5 alternate leaflets; leaflets largest towards the top of the leaf, the largest asymmetrically elliptic, base unequal, apex obtuse, to 11 by 5.5cm, the lowermost may be as small as 1 by 0.7cm. Flowers white, to 10mm long, with reflexed petals. Fruits obliquely obovate, apex apiculate, 5.5-7 by 3.3-4.5cm.

K7; 1-350m; - (in Tanzania XI-XII)

Dry evergreen forest, wooded grassland; once found in sand dunes.

Mugodoma (SWA), Kifungazanzu (DUR). Used for rough construction work.

Scorodophloeus fischeri

Scorodophloeus fischeri


Very similar to Cassia, from which it is distinct by the 3 adaxial stamens which are short and straight, and the pedicels which have no bracteoles. The seeds often have an areole on each face.

S. singueana often flowers when leafless.

1. Leaf rachis without glands 2

* Leaf rachis with projecting glands between (some) leaflets 4

2. Stipules 8-12mm wide; fruit 8-12cm long 4. S. didymobotrya

* Stipules < 3mm wide; fruit 3.5-7.5cm long 3

3. Stipules 3-5mm long; petals 7-17mm long; fruit 16-26mm wide 1. S. alexandrina

* Stipules 5-11mm long; petals 14-28mm long; fruit 10-18mm wide 5. S. longiracemosa

4. Leaflets acuminate at apex 5

* Leaflets rounded to obtuse, sometimes mucronate, at apex 6

5. Leaflets in 3-4 pairs, glabrous; stipules linear 8. S. septemtrionalis

* Leaflets in 4-10 pairs, thinly pubescent; stipules very broad 7. S. petersiana

6. Leaflets in 3 pairs 7

* Leaflets in 4 or more pairs 8

7. Flower pedicel 3-5mm long; fruit 10-15mm wide 3. S. bicapsularis

* Flower pedicel (5) 15-50mm long; fruit 4-6mm wide 6. S. obtusifolia

8. Leaflets in 4-6 pairs; fruit 1-2cm wide (NE Kenya) 2. S. baccarinii

* Leaflets in 6-10 pairs; fruit 0.7-1cm wide 9. S. singueana

1. Senna alexandrina Miller

(Cassia senna L.)

Shrub 0.3-3m. Leaves with 4-8 pairs of leaflets; leaflets narrowly elliptic, apex acute, 1.5-5 by 0.4-0.9cm, puberulous (var. alexandrina); elliptic, apex rounded and occasionally with a mucro, to 2.5 by 1.2cm, puberulous (var. obtusata). Flowers yellow, petals 0.7-1.7 by 0.7-0.9cm. Fruits flattened, oblong, 4-7 by 1.6-2.6cm.

- var. alexandrina: a single collection (Jeffrey K 392) from Mfumbini beach, Kilifi, in bushland.

- var. obtusata (Brenan) Lock; K1; 90-600m; VI, IX

Grassland or dry bushland. Collected only twice; a rare subspecies, also in Somalia.

Msahala (SWA).

Senna alexandrina

2. Senna baccarinii (Chiov.) Lock

(Cassia baccarinii Chiov.)

Shrub or tree 2-7m; bark smooth, black in young shrubs. Leaves with (2) 4-6 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic, apex rounded or emarginate, 1-3 by 0.4-2cm, minutely puberulous. Flowers yellow; petals 1.3-2 by 1-1.5cm. Fruit flattened, oblong, beaked when young, 5-7.5 by 1-2cm.

K1; 350-950m; I, XII*

Dry (Acacia) bushland or Commiphora woodland along water courses.

Watu (BOR), Gel Fijis (SOM).

Senna baccarinii

3. Senna bicapsularis (L.) Roxb.

(Cassia bicapsularis L.)

Shrub, often scrambling, 0.5-5m. Leaves with (2-)3 pairs of leaflets; leaflets obovate or subcircular, apex rounded, 1-3.5 by 0.7-2.5cm, glabrous. Flowers yellow (-orange), petals 1-1.3 by 0.6-0.9cm. Fruit brown, cylindrical, straight, 8-15 by 1-1.5cm.

K3457; 1-1750m; I-VI, VIII-XII

An escape from cultivation, gone wild and established in old cultivations, wooded or bushed grassland, often along the sea, lakes or rivers.

Mukengeka, Musingili (KAM), Nyai-leka (LUO).

Senna bicapsularis

4. Senna didymobotrya (Fresen.) Irwin & Barneby

(Cassia didymobotrya Fres.)

Shrub or (in optimal conditions) tree 1-7.5m. Leaves with 8-18 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic, apex rounded or obtuse, with a mucro 1-3mm long, 2-6.5 by 0.6-2.5cm, more or less pubescent. Flowers yellow, petals 1.8-2.7 by 1-1.6cm. Fruits flattened, oblong, 8-12 by 1.5-2.5cm.

K13456(?7); (700) 1500-2250m; I-II, VI-XII

Riverine, by lake shores, at forest edges (in damp sites).

Inyumganai (KAM), Mwinu/Mwino (KIK), Senetwet (KIP, NAN), Ovino (LUO), Luvinu (LUH), Osenetoi (MAA), Senetwet (MAR), Kirao (MER), Mbinu, Mshua (TAI), Senetiet (TUG). The bark contains tannin. The leaves are used as a fish poison, and the leaf infusion is used as an emetic against malaria by the Kipsigis. Stems used against ringworm by the Luhya. Poisonous.

Senna didymobotrya

Senna didymobotrya

5. Senna longiracemosa (Vatke) Lock

(Cassia longiracemosa Vatke)

Shrub or small tree 0.5-4(?7)m. Leaves with 5-13 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic, subcircular, or slightly obovate, apex rounded or subacute, usually with a mucro of 0.5-2mm, 0.7-2.5 by 0.4-1.8cm, pubescent. Flowers yellow, petals 1.4-2.8 by 0.8-1.5cm. Fruit purplish or blackish, flattened, oblong, 3.5-7.5 by 1-1.8cm.

K12467; 300-1000 (2100)m; I-XI

Dry bushland or bushed grassland, in Northern Kenya nearly always riverine or by luggas.

Mwenu (KAM), Sanatoi/Saigurugui (SAM), Mukangu (TAI), Emang/Ekamuka (TUR). Used as a remedy for malaria by the Samburu.

Senna longiracemosa

6. Senna obtusifolia (L.) Irwin & Barneby

(Cassia obtusifolia L.)

Woody herb or shrub, 0.5-2m. Leaves with 3 pairs of leaflets; leaflets obovate, apex rounded and often mucronate, 1.5-5.5 by 1-3.5cm, pubescent or nearly glabrous. Flowers (orange-) yellow, petals 1-1.9 by 0.5-0.7cm. Fruits (sub-) cylindrical, linear, straight or curved, 11-23 by 0.4-0.6cm.

K1234567; 1-1650m; II-IV, VI-X, XII

Riverine, near luggas, on lake-shores, or in cultivated land.

Cheporon (PKT), Emang/Emany (TUR). A root decoction is used in children’s medicine by the Pokot.

Senna obtusifolia

7. Senna petersiana (Bolle) Lock

(Cassia petersiana Bolle)

Shrub or tree 2-6 (12)m; bark rough, fissured. Leaves with 4-10 pairs of leaflets; leaflets ovate or elliptic, apex gradually acuminate, 3-10 by 1-4cm, thinly pubescent. Flowers yellow, petals 1.5-3.2 by 0.9-2cm, the largest with a dentate margin. Fruits somewhat flattened, linear, 12-25 by 0.7-1.5cm.

K35; 1100-2100m; VIII-XI *

Riverine forest, moist forest (edge), wooded grassland, evergreen bushland (data from FTEA; Kenya notes are scarce).

Mbaraka (SWA), Kivukelele (KAM), Aiuandet, Chebaywa (SEB), Mhojaavandu (TAV).

Senna petersiana

8. Senna septemtrionalis (Viviani) Irwin & Barneby

(Cassia floribunda Cav.)

Shrub 1-3(5)m. Leaves with 3-4 pairs of leaflets; leaflets ovate or elliptic, apex gradually acuminate, 4-11 by 2-4cm, glabrous. Flowers yellow, petals 1-1.8 by 1-1.4cm. Fruits brown, subcylindrical, 6-10 by 1-1.5cm.

K13456; (700-) 1450-2200m; I-III, V-VII, IX-XII

Dry or moist forest (edge), riverine, waste places, grassland; probably originally from America.

Omochegechege (KIS), Chemul senetwet/senetwetap chimbek (KIP), Esenetoi (MAA).

Senna septemtrionalis

9. Senna singueana (Del.) Lock

(Cassia singueana Del.)

Shrub or tree 1.5-7.5(15)m. Often flowering when leafless. Leaves with 6-10 pairs of leaflets; leaflets elliptic or obovate, apex rounded and often emarginate, occasionally mucronate, rarely subacute, 2.5-6 by 1.4-2.7cm, glabrous or pubescent. Flowers yellow, sometimes without stamens; petals 15-30mm long. Fruit subcylindrical, 5.5-26 by 0.7-1cm.

K134567; 1-2250m; I-III, V-XI

Bushed or wooded grassland, dry or coastal bushland, often on termite-mounds, in luggas or riverine.

Mbaraka (SWA), Muhumba (DIG). Muhumbu (GIR), Mukengeka, Munyunga-Nai (KAM), Kumusilamosi (LUH), Senetoi (SAM), Msua, Mwangia (TAI). Root used for stomach medicine. Poisonous? Ripe fruits edible?

Senna singueana

Senna singueana


Trees. Leaves paripinnate with opposite leaflets. Flowers in lateral and terminal racemes; sepals 4; petals 5 with 3 upper large ones, 2 lower minute ones; stamens 3. Fruit sausage-like.

Tamarindus indica L.

Tree 4-15m with thick bole and spreading crown; bark rough, grey-brown. Leaves with 9-21 pairs of leaflets; leaflets oblong, base unequal, apex rounded, 12-32 by 3-11mm; glabrous but with a tuft of yellow hairs near the base. Flowers yellow, veined with red, petals to 13mm. Fruits rusty-brown, straight or curved, cylindrical but often irregularly constricted, 6-14 by 2-3cm.

K1234567; 1-1500m; III-VI, VIII, XI-XII

Riverine, in bushland, in wooded grassland; near the coast also in open forest.

Tamarind (STAND), Mkwaju (SWA, DIG, TAI), Ukwayu (BAJ), Groha (BOR), Mukai (BON), Morhoqa (ILW), Kithumula (KAM), Chwaa, Ochwa (LUO), Oloisijoi (MAA), Aron (MAR), Muthithi (MER), Rhoka (ORM), Aron/oron (PKT), Rogei (SAM), Roka (SAN), Hamar, Rakhai (SOM), Muzumura, Musumera (TAV), Arwe (TUG), Epeduru (TUR). Fruits are edible, and a pleasant drink (which is laxative) is made from them. The wood produces good charcoal. Makes good walking sticks. Boran say the leaves are salty, and therefore given to stock.

Tamarindus indica

Tamarindus indica