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Lepidotrichilia volkensii (Gürke) J.-F.Leroy

Fl. Zamb. 2(1): 305 (1963).
Trichilia volkensii Gürke (1894).
Origin and geographic distribution
Lepidotrichilia volkensii occurs in mountainous areas in eastern DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia.
In Ethiopia the wood is used for local construction and as fuelwood. In Tanzania it has the same uses, and is additionally used for spoons and tool handles, and for charcoal production. The fruit is edible and eaten raw in Ethiopia, where the bark is used in fermentation processes.
The heartwood is whitish and hard, with a fine texture. The sesquiterpenoid voleneol has been isolated from Lepidotrichilia volkensii.
Evergreen shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 20(–25) m tall; bole often fluted; bark surface smooth, greyish; inner bark pink to red, sometimes with white lines, scented; crown spreading, strongly branched; young branches densely short-hairy. Leaves alternate, imparipinnately compound with (5–)7–11 leaflets; stipules absent; petiole 2.5–8 cm long, rachis 5–20 cm long; petiolules 2–10 mm long; leaflets opposite or alternate, elliptical to ovate, oblong or lanceolate, 5–20 cm × 2–7.5 cm, cuneate to obtuse and often asymmetrical at base, acute to acuminate at apex, short-hairy below with stellate hairs and minute glandular dots, pinnately veined. Inflorescence an axillary contracted panicle up to 25 cm long, short-hairy with yellowish brown, stellate hairs. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, creamy white, fragrant; pedicel 1–2.5 mm long; calyx cup-shaped, c. 2 mm long, with minute teeth; petals free, oblong-lanceolate, 4–5 mm long; stamens 3–4 mm long, fused in lower half into a tube, slightly hairy inside; ovary superior, nearly globose, glabrous, 2–4-celled, style 1–2 mm long, stigma head-shaped, surmounted by 2–4 erect stigmatic lobes. Fruit a depressed-globose berry 7–15 mm in diameter, shallowly grooved, densely covered with stellate hairs, (1–)2–3-seeded. Seeds 2–3 mm long, glossy dark brown or black.
Lepidotrichilia comprises 4 species, 3 of which are endemic to Madagascar.
Lepidotrichilia volkensii is restricted to montane forest at (1050–)1500–2400 (–3300) m altitude, where it often occurs in the understorey of moist forest types in association with Podocarpus, Hagenia and Schefflera, but sometimes also in secondary evergreen bushland. The mean annual rainfall range is 1500–2000 mm.
Lepidotrichilia volkensii can be propagated by seed or by planting out wildlings. Treatment of the seed is not needed, but seeds can only be stored for short periods before they lose their viability.
Genetic resources and breeding
Although Lepidotrichilia volkensii is an Afromontane endemic, there are no indications that it suffers from genetic erosion; it is fairly widespread and locally common.
Because Lepidotrichilia volkensii usually has a small bole size and only occurs in mountainous areas, it is very unlikely that the future importance of its wood will exceed its actual limited usage.
Major references
• Bekele-Tesemma, A., 2007. Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia: identification, propagation and management for 17 agroclimatic zones. Technical Manual No 6. RELMA in ICRAF Project, Nairobi, Kenya. 552 pp.
• Friis, I., 1992. Forests and forest trees of northeast tropical Africa: their natural habitats and distribution patterns in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Kew Bulletin, Additional Series 15, H.M.S.O., London, United Kingdom. 396 pp.
• Lovett, J.C., Ruffo, C.K., Gereau, R.E. & Taplin, J.R.D., 2006. Field guide to the moist forest trees of Tanzania. [Internet] Centre for Ecology Law and Policy, Environment Department, University of York, York, United Kingdom. res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/ tree%20guide/guide.htm. Accessed November 2007.
• Styles, B.T. & White, F., 1991. Meliaceae. In: Polhill, R.M. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 68 pp.
Other references
• Beentje, H.J., 1994. Kenya trees, shrubs and lianas. National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya. 722 pp.
• Eggeling, W.J. & Dale, I.R., 1951. The indigenous trees of the Uganda Protectorate. Government Printer, Entebbe, Uganda. 491 pp.
• Mulholland, D.A., Parel, B. & Coombes, P.H., 2000. The chemistry of the Meliaceae and Ptaeroxylaceae of Southern and Eastern Africa and Madagascar. Current Organic Chemistry 4(10): 1011–1054.
• Staner, P. & Gilbert, G., 1958. Meliaceae. In: Robyns, W., Staner, P., Demaret, F., Germain, R., Gilbert, G., Hauman, L., Homès, M., Jurion, F., Lebrun, J., Vanden Abeele, M. & Boutique, R. (Editors). Flore du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi. Spermatophytes. Volume 7. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. pp. 147–213.
• Styles, B.T. & White, F., 1989. Meliaceae. In: Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (Editors). Flora of Ethiopia. Volume 3. Pittosporaceae to Araliaceae. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Department of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. pp. 479–489.
• Troupin, G., 1982. Flore des plantes ligneuses du Rwanda. Publication No 21. Institut National de Recherche Scientifique, Butare, Rwanda. 747 pp.
• von Breitenbach, F., 1963. The indigenous trees of Ethiopia. 2nd Edition. Ethiopian Forestry Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 305 pp.
• White, F. & Styles, B.T., 1963. Meliaceae. In: Exell, A.W., Fernandes, A. & Wild, H. (Editors). Flora Zambesiaca. Volume 2, part 1. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 285–319.
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

D. Louppe
CIRAD, Département Environnements et Sociétés, Cirad es-dir, Campus international de Baillarguet, TA C-DIR / B (Bât. C, Bur. 113), 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
A.A. Oteng-Amoako
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
J.R. Cobbinah
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2008. Lepidotrichilia volkensii (Gürke) J.-F.Leroy. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.