Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Melia.

+ Tree Species

Melia volkensii

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

M. volkensii is indigenous to Kenya. It is an emergent in Acacia commiphora deciduous bush-land, sometimes fringing seasonal water courses or appearing on rock outcrops. Physical characteristics of the soils in its natural range are sandy, clay and shallow stony. It’s a plant of the drier tropics, where it is found at elevations from 350 - 1,680 meters. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 800mm, but tolerates 300 - 1,000mm. It grows best in a sunny position and established plants are very drought tolerant.

+ Description

A deciduous tree with an open, spreading crown; usually growing 6 - 20 meters tall. Trees with 25 cm diameter are common.

BARK: grey, fairly smooth, furrowing with age.

LEAVES: light, bright green, bipinnate with (sub)opposite leaflets, 3-7 per pinna, up to 35 cm long, and are densely hairy when young. The leaflets are oval to lanceolate, tapering to the apex. The margins are entire or serrated, becoming almost glabrous when mature.

FLOWERS: small, white and fragrant, in loose sprays. Male and female flowers are on the same tree (andromonoecious).

FRUIT: drupe-like and oval; color changes from green to pale grey as the fruit matures. Fruit size is normally 4 cm long with a very thick, bony endocarp.

+ Uses

Agroforestry: provides leaf fodder, flowers provide excellent bee forage

Wood is used to make items such as log hives.

Like the related neem tree (Azadirachta indica), this species contains compounds that are toxic to insects. Aqueous extracts of the fruits are traditionally used to control fleas and ticks. Leaf preparations are used as flea and fly repellents.

The wood is valued locally for making items such as door and window frames, door shutters, rafters, poles, furniture and acoustic drums.

The wood is used for fuel.

+ Propagation

Seeds, root cuttings.

+ Management

Fast growing, coppicing, pruning, thinning.

+ Remarks

Trees are commonly planted around homesteads for shade and firewood.

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