Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.
subsp. caffra (Sond.) Kokwaro

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Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Osborne Dam RP

Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Between Hot Springs Resort and Odzi R.

Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Between Hot Springs Resort and Odzi R.

Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near the lodges, Lake Kyle Recreational Park

Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

Photo: Rob Burrett
Rowallan Adventure Park, Matopos National Park.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Sclerocarya caffra Sond.
Common names: Marula (English) Mufuna (Shona) Mupfura (Shona) Mushomo (Shona) Umganu (Ndebele)
Description: Medium-sized deciduous tree. Leaves alternate, crowded near the ends of branches, imparipinnate with 7-15 pairs of ovate to elliptic leaflets and a terminal leaflet, dark green above, paler bluish-green below. Flowers in axillary and terminal sprays, red in bud, turning pinkish-white, unisexual, mostly on separate trees. Fruits fleshy, plum-like, pale green turning yellow when ripe. The fruit is edible and highly valued by animals and people.
Notes:
Derivation of specific name: birrea: from the vernacular name "birr" in Senegal;
caffra: of Caffraria, historic name for South Africa
Flowering time:Sep - Nov
Worldwide distribution: Angola, southern DRC, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Also in Madagascar.
Growth form(s): Tree.
Insects associated with this species: Sphingomorpha chlorea (Food plant)
Philotherma rosa (Food plant)
Argema mimosae (Food plant)
Gonimbrasia belina (Larval foodplant)
Trichopisthia monteiroi (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Image last updated: Monday 12 March 2007
Literature:

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 539 - 540. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 9 - 12. as Scleriocarya caffra (Includes a picture).

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 354 - 355. as Sclerocarya birrea (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 22.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 253. As Sclerocarya caffra

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 234 - 235. (Includes a picture).

Fernandes, R. & A. (1966). Anacardiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 2(2) Pages 553 - 555. as Sclerocarya caffra (Includes a picture).

Kamumvuri, G. (ed.) (2004). Plants of Zimbabwe Report No. 1 National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 19. as Sclerocarya birrea

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 150 - 153. (Includes a picture).

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 330 - 331. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 23.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 40. as Sclerocarya caffra (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 196.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 446 - 447. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra
Flora of Caprivi: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra
Flora of Mozambique: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra
Flora of Zambia: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra
Flora of Zimbabwe: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra

External websites:

African Plant Database: Sclerocarya birrea
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Sclerocarya birrea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Sclerocarya birrea
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Sclerocarya birrea
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Sclerocarya birrea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Sclerocarya birrea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Sclerocarya birrea
Ispot Southern Africa : Sclerocarya birrea
JSTOR Plant Science: Sclerocarya birrea
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Sclerocarya birrea
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Sclerocarya birrea
Tropicos: Sclerocarya birrea
West African Plants database: Sclerocarya birrea


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated Plants: Species information: Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/species.php?species_id=136510, retrieved 8 December 2016

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