Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: African mahogany, munyama, red mahogany, Uganda mahogany Kwamba: Kirumbo Runyoro: Munyama Rutoro: Munyama.

+ Tree Species

Khaya anthotheca (K. nyasica)

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

A tall timber tree of tropical rain forests from Tanzania south to Mozambique at medium to low altitudes, often riverine. In Uganda, it occurs in Budongo, Bugoma and Semliki Forests in the Western Region. At one time it provided half the total timber taken from Budongo Forest. It does best in deep fertile soils with subsoil moisture and can withstand seasonal flooding. In Kampala, Khaya anthotheca can be found within Uganda Golf course club, Makerere university, along Kampala road, Prince Charles drive road among other places.

+ Description

A semi-deciduous forest tree to 60 m, often a straight bole to 30 m before branching to a massive crown (branching lower down if riverine), large trees with prominent surface roots and buttresses 4-6 m. The bole may reach 4 m in diameter above the buttresses.

BARK: grey, smooth but with shield-like scars from flakes 3 cm across, the surface "pock marked" grey and brown.

LEAVES: even pinnate to 30 cm with 2-7 pairs of oblong leaflets, each stiff to 17 cm, shortly stalked. Leaves clustered at branch ends. New leaves pink-brown.

FLOWERS: small, 1 cm, white and sweet scented in heads, often hidden among the leaves.

FRUIT: a dry capsule about 5 cm across, grey brown, breaks into 4-5 sections, rather flower-shaped, on the tree, scattering 30-60 pale, flat winged seeds. The capsule is a uniform chocolate-brown inside.

+ Uses

Medicine: bark, the oil from the seeds, roots, the stem, and seeds contain. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Khaya+anthotheca

Provides timber which is used in furniture making, high-class cabinet work, for the production of veneers and for any application where a good quality, medium weight hardwood is needed.

Large logs are traditionally used to make dugout canoes.

The wood is suitable for fuel and can be used to make charcoal.

Agroforestry: the tree can be planted to provide shade in agroforestry systems.

A reddish-brown dye can be obtained from the bark.

Planted as an ornamental shade tree and roadside tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, wildings.

+ Management

Fairly fast growing tree. In plantations, tend until established. Khaya anthotheca suffers from shoot borers.

+ Remarks

Uganda mahogany is of a high grade and occupies a basic position in the timber trade of East Africa. The pale pink fresh timber turns red-brown and is easy to work. It is suitable for joinery, decorative furniture, etc. It should be encouraged for planting along river banks and in degraded forest areas. It is also good for shade, doing well as an avenue tree.

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