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 (whose larvae eat this species): Sphingomorpha chlorea (Sundowner moth or Banana hawk)
Philotherma rosa (Rose eggar)
Argema mimosae (African lunar moth)
Gonimbrasia belina (Mopane moth, Mopane worm, Anomalous emperor)
Trichopisthia monteiroi (Lemon Lappet.)
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).

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).

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.

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 28 May 2016

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