Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Journ. Linn. Soc., Bot. 37: 203 (1905).
Tylostemon ugandensis (Rendle) Stapf (1909).
Origin and geographic distribution
Beilschmiedia ugandensis is distributed in the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
The bole is made into dugout canoes; the wood is also used for construction, furniture and tool handles, and it has been used for mine props. It is also used as fuelwood and for charcoal making. The fruits are eaten.
Production and international trade
The wood is traded within the countries of production.
The wood is durable.
Evergreen shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 27(–45) m tall; bole up to 30(–100) cm in diameter, cylindrical, often crooked; outer bark greyish, rough, flaking in roughly circular patches, inner bark red, fibrous, deeply pitted; crown rounded; young branches hairy to glabrous. Leaves alternate or almost opposite, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 0.5–1.5 cm long, shallowly channelled above; blade elliptical-oblong to elliptical or obovate, 2.5–19(–21.5) cm × 1.5–8.5 cm, base cuneate to rounded, apex acute, acuminate, rounded or obtuse, leathery, glabrous, pinnately veined with 8–14 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary panicle 3–9 cm long, hairy, many-flowered; peduncle 0.5–2.5 cm long; bracts ovate, keeled, c. 7 mm × 5 mm, deciduous. Flowers bisexual, regular, small, fleshy, brownish yellow to pinkish brown; pedicel 0.5–3(–4) mm long; perianth cup-shaped to bell-shaped, c. 2 mm long; lobes rounded ovate, c. 1 mm long; fertile stamens 9, in 3 whorls, inner whorl with glands, staminodes 3, in a fourth whorl; ovary superior, c. 0.5 mm long, gradually narrowed into the style. Fruit an ellipsoid or ovoid berry 2–4 cm × 1.5–2 cm, dull purple to black when mature, with dark red-purple juice, 1-seeded.
Growth of Beilschmiedia ugandensis is slow. In DR Congo it flowers in August–October; mature fruits have been recorded for August.
Beilschmiedia comprises about 250 species and is distributed throughout the tropics, with about 80 species in tropical Africa and Madagascar. Beilschmiedia ugandensis belongs to subgenus Synthoradenia. Two varieties are distinguished: var. ugandensis, distributed in DR Congo, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, and var. katangenis Robyns & R.Wilczek, with longer inflorescences and larger flowers, and distributed in the Central African Republic, DR Congo and Zambia.
Beilschmiedia ugandensis occurs at 900–1500 m altitude in gallery forest and lakeside forest, often in swampy localities.
Beilschmiedia ugandensis is propagated by seed, sown in pots or directly in the field. Seed can be obtained by collecting fallen fruits, putting them in a heap and allowing the fruit to decompose, after which the seeds can be separated and dried in the sun. Germination is accelerated by cracking the hard seedcoat. Wildlings are also used for propagation. Coppicing and pollarding are possible. Beilschmiedia ugandensis has been grown in tree planting projects in Masaka (Uganda).
Genetic resources and breeding
Beilschmiedia ugandensis is classified as vulnerable in the 2006 IUCN Red list of threatened species. Major threats are overexploitation (commercial exploitation and local use), especially in Uganda, as well as general decline of its habitat.
The wood of Beilschmiedia ugandensis is locally used and traded, but its exploitation is unsustainable. Increased use should not be promoted, and present use should be made more sustainable.
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Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2008. Beilschmiedia ugandensis Rendle. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.