Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: African milk bush, African milkbush.

+ Tree Species

Synadenium grantii

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

African milk bush is native to tropical eastern Africa (i.e. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and eastern Zaire).

+ Description

A thornless semi-succulent, evergreen shrub or small tree, erect, richly branched from near the base and in its habitat becoming up to 3,5(-10) m in height with an equal spread.

BARK: bark of the older parts pale greyish. Younger branches 1/3– 1/2 in. thick, glabrous, green and somewhat fleshy, becoming woody and thickening with age

LEAVES:  leaves are fleshy, spirally arranged, crowded towards the ends of stems, 7.5–10cm long and 2.5–4cm wide, dark green above and paler beneath, with a prominent midrib.

FLOWERS:  green to yellowish-green, mostly concealed by lance-shaped bracts that are purplish-green above and reddish-purple beneath

FRUITS:  The fruits are absent in cultivation. 7 x 8 mm, pubescent, red, pedicel ± 5 mm long.

+ Uses

An ornamental and hedge or cover plant and under glass in colder regions.


+ Propagation

Cuttings, seeds.

+ Management


+ Remarks

The sap is extremely irritating to the skin, eyes and mouth. Skin contact can cause blisters. The sap causes irritation to the face, eyelids, nostrils and lips. If swallowed, symptoms can include irritation of the mouth and throat, general discomfort and sometimes convulsions.

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