Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses


+ Tree Species

Brideria micrantha

+ Tree Family

Phyllanthaceae family

+ Ecology

Bridelia is indigenous to Uganda. A tree of the high-potential areas in East and Southern Africa. In Uganda occurs in riverine forests, forest edges or in wet places in thickets in Eastern, Central, North Western and parts of Northern Regions, 600-2,200 m. It does well in a wide variety of climates. In Kampala, Bridelia is found within Makerere University, Uganda Golf course club, Kitante Senior Secondary School among others.

+ Description

A medium-sized leafy evergreen tree with dense spreading crown, to 13 m.

BARK: grey-brown flaking with age, young stems zigzag, dotted with paler breathing pores.

LEAVES: appear compound but actually simple alternate along branches, dark shiny green above, to 12 cm long, veins parallel extending along margin, leaf stalks slightly hairy.

FLOWERS: small andyellowish, bunched in leaf axils, male and female flowers on different trees.

FRUIT: soft purple-black, oval up to 8 mm, sweet and edible when ripe in times of emergency.


+ Uses

Medicine: bark, roots, and leaf sap. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Bridelia+micrantha

Agroforestry: can be used along eroded drainage lines and streams where the natural vegetation has been removed, can be used to establish new riverine vegetation, can be grown in banana and coffee plantations for the shade it provides, leaves are used for mulching, can be intercropped and managed by small-scale farmers, leaves are used for fodder, are favourite food of the wild silkworm (Anaphe spp.), can be used for hedges.

The bark is a source of tannins plus red and black dyes, and a black dye is also obtained from the leaves, twigs and wood. The fruit also contains a dye.

The resin is used for sealing cracks in doors, baskets, pottery and winnowing trays.

The pounded bark is used to fill cracks in doors and baskets.

The wood can be used for parquet floors, furniture, panelling, tool handles, boats, bows, carpentry, and most general joinery work.

Provides poles that are used for building huts and granaries, and are sometimes cut for beams or fence posts.

The wood makes excellent firewood and charcoal.

Edible: fruits can be eaten. Fruits are sometimes used as fish bait because the plant is said to contain saponin.

An ornamental tree 

+ Propagation

Seeds, wildings, root suckers.

+ Management

Fast growing in good sites, pollarding, coppicing.

+ Remarks

The species is becoming scarce due to over-exploitation. It is not planted near homesteads as it attracts caterpillars and birds. The wood is resistant to termites. The species is kept in banana and coffee plantations where it is a useful shade tree.

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