Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Millettia Rukiga: Mutate, mutete Runyankore: Kiragara, murongo Rutoro: Muhakwa.

+ Tree Species

Millettia dura

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Millettia is indigenous to Uganda. A small tree of moist forest edges or beneath more open forest in Kenya and Ethiopia as well as Uganda. In Uganda, it is found in understorey moist tropical rain forest and is abundant in Kibale and Maramagambo Forests. The specific name reflects the locality from where the first botanical collection was made: the Dura River in Kibale Forest. In Kampala, Millettia can be found within Makerere university among other places.

+ Description

A much-branched deciduous tree to 15 m with light foliage.

BARK: grey and smooth.

LEAVES: compound, dull green 5-12 pairs leaflets, each one to 5 cm, often unequal-sided. Young leaves and stalks have orange-brown hairs. The base of the stalk has a thickening (the pulvinus).

FLOWERS: mauve sprays to 20 cm, often on the bare tree, pea-shaped flowers, petals over 2 cm long.

FRUIT: thick flat pods to 25 x 2 cm, splitting open explosively.

+ Uses

Agroforestry: can be used in afforestation, soil conservation and improvement, intercropped with tea in order to provide shade and improve the soil, leaves are a good mulch material and manure, leaves can be fed to livestock.

The wood is used for poles and tool handles.

The tree is an important source of firewood and charcoal.

M. dura is an important shade tree.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, wildings.

+ Management

Fairly fast growing; coppicing and pollarding.

+ Remarks

The wood is tough and resistant to termites. The tree has been planted between tea bushes to enrich the soil and for shade. Its purple flowers are very decorative so it has been widely planted as an ornamental.

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