Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Bark cloth tree, Antiaris, False iroko, False mvule, Upas tree, Sacking tree. Ateso: Eloa Kwamba: Kesuba, kisuba Luganda: Kirundu Lugishu: Lulundu Lugwe: Mulundulundu Lunyuli: Musende Luo A: Olivaa Luo L: Elwa Madi: Ripi Runyankore: Mumaka Rutoro: Muhere, mbondo.

+ Tree Species

Antiaris toxicaria

+ Tree Family

Moraceae

+ Ecology

Antiaris is indigenous to Uganda. It's a forest tree with 3 varieties not clearly distinguished, especially when young. While one is found largely in wooded grassland, the others grow in rain forest, wetter forest, riverine and semi-swamp forests west to Sierra Leone, into southern Sudan and south to Zaire and Angola. It grows in all regions of Uganda except the North Eastern, 1,350-1,700 m. In Kampala, Antiaris can be found within Makerere university, Uganda Golf course club, along Kasozi road, Mawanda road among other places.

+ Description

A magnificent deciduous tree of the forest canopy, often 20 m, up to 40 m, the crown rounded, branchlets drooping. A large tree may have a tall clear bole with 150cm in diameter and some buttresses at the base.

BARK: smooth, pale grey, marked with lenticel dots and ring marks. When cut thin cream latex drips out, becoming darker.

LEAVES: variable, usually oval 5-16 cm x 4-11 cm, the upper half often widest to a blunt or pointed tip, the base unequal and rounded. Saplings and coppice shoots have long narrow leaves, the edge toothed—but rare in mature leaves. Leaves are rough, papery with stiff hairs above but softer below.

FLOWERS: small male flowers, yellow-green, in clusters about 1.5 cm across, growing just below leaves. Female flowers in disc- or kidney shaped heads to 3 cm across.

FRUIT: bright red, dull and furry, 1.5 cm long, the swollen receptacle contains just one seed. The soft fruit is liked by birds, bats, monkeys and antelope and therefore dispersed by them.

+ Uses

Medicine: latex, seeds, leaves, and bark. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Antiaris+toxicaria

The inner bark or fiber is used to make rough clothing, hammocks, sandals, hut walls, cordage, sacks, mats and paper. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Antiaris+toxicaria

A latex from the trunk. It is used medicinally and as a hunting poison.

The bark contains tannins and has been used for dyeing.

The wood is used for interior joinery, panelling, moulding, shuttering, furniture, strip flooring, boxes and crates, tool handles, toys, carvings, peeled and sliced veneer for interior and exterior parts of plywood, fibre and particle board, and block board, drum making and for light construction and canoes.

The wood from the roots is sometimes used as a cork substitute.

Agroforestry: used as a pioneer when restoring native woodland, leaves are fodder to the animals.

The tree can sometimes be planted as an ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds.

+ Management

Fast growing attaining full size within 20 years.

+ Remarks

Antiaris africana is a synonym of Antiaris toxicaria. The root or leaves are used to treat mental illnesses. In Kitgum District, the bark is used for making bark cloth but it is not as good quality as that made from Ficus. The trunk is used to make "beer canoes" in Central Region. The tree does not compete with crops. There is little difference between heart and sapwood; it is yellow-white and soft, easily attacked by termites and borers. It can make a tough veneer for the plywood industry.

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