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Mimusops kummel Bruce ex A.DC.

Protologue
Prodr. 8: 203 (1844).
Family
Sapotaceae
Chromosome number
n = 12
Synonyms
Mimusops fragrans (Baker) Engl. (1904).
Vernacular names
Red milkwood (En). Foumbo (Fr). Mgambo (Sw).
Origin and geographic distribution
Mimusops kummel occurs from Côte d’Ivoire east to Ethiopia and Eritrea, and south to Tanzania and Malawi.
Uses
The wood of Mimusops kummel is used for construction, utensils and tool handles, and also as firewood and for making charcoal. Branches are used as arrow shafts. In Ethiopia the trees are conserved when land is cleared for planting coffee to serve as shade trees. The fruit is commonly eaten in East Africa. The roots are used in traditional medicine as a laxative and galactagogue, and the seeds to treat ascariasis.
Properties
The heartwood is reddish brown, heavy and hard, and distinctly demarcated from the creamy to yellowish sapwood.
Botany
Small to medium-sized tree up to 25(–35) m tall, containing latex; bole up to 100 cm in diameter; bark deeply grooved, dark grey; crown dense, ovoid; young branches densely red-brown pubescent. Leaves arranged spirally, more or less in tufts at the ends of branches, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 0.5–1.5(–3) cm long; blade oblong-elliptical to obovate-elliptical, 4–12 cm × 1.5–5 cm, cuneate at base, notched to shortly acuminate at apex, leathery, almost glabrous, with many lateral veins. Flowers in fascicles of up to 4 in the leaf axils, bisexual, regular, fragrant; pedicel (1.5–)2–5 cm long, slender; sepals in 2 whorls of 4; corolla creamy-white, with a short tube and 8 lobes each with 2 appendages, 9–14 mm long; stamens 8, alternating with 8 hairy staminodes; ovary superior, 8-celled. Fruit an ellipsoid to ovoid berry up to 2.5 cm long, orange-red when ripe, 1-seeded. Seed ellipsoid, c. 2 cm long, reddish brown, with small circular basal scar. Seedling with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 4. 5–5 cm long, epicotyl 2.5 cm long; cotyledons leafy, 3 cm × 1.5 cm, 3-veined from the base.
The distribution of Mimusops laurifolia (Forssk.) Friis (synonym: Mimusops schimperi Hochst. ex A.Rich.) overlaps with that of Mimusops kummel in Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia; Mimusops laurifolia is also found in Somalia and Yemen. Its pale brown to yellowish white wood is occasionally used for construction, carpentry and joinery, and as firewood. Mimusops laurifolia is sometimes planted as a shade or ornamental tree and its fruit is edible. It was probably already cultivated thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, and is characterized by its long and slender leaf stalks.
Mimusops obovata Sond. closely resembles Mimusops kummel and Mimusops zeyheri Sond., but differs in its smaller, more thinly leathery leaves. It occurs in southern Mozambique, eastern South Africa and Swaziland, and also produces useful timber and edible fruits. The heartwood is pink or reddish, heavy, hard and durable, and logs are occasionally traded on the international market. The fruits taste pleasant and are used to make jellies and alcoholic drinks.
Ecology
Mimusops kummel is widespread in riverine forest, but also occurs in upland dry evergreen forest and wooded grassland up to 2100 m altitude. It usually occurs scattered. In the southern part of the Sudanian zone in Burkina Faso where there is an annual rainfall of 1000 mm, it is characteristic of forests on the most humid soils.
Management
Mimusops kummel is propagated by seeds and wildlings. One kilogramme contains about 800 seeds. The seeds can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature. Germination occurs 18–45 days after sowing. The tree tolerates pruning and pollarding.
Genetic resources and breeding
Mimusops kummel is widely spread and occurs in various habitats, and is consequently not liable to genetic erosion.
Prospects
Like several other Mimusops species, Mimusops kummel is an interesting multipurpose species worthy of more research.
Major references
• Bein, E., Habte, B., Jaber, A., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1996. Useful trees and shrubs in Eritrea: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook No 12. Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi, Kenya. 422 pp.
• Burkill, H.M., 2000. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 5, Families S–Z, Addenda. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 686 pp.
• Hemsley, J.H., 1968. Sapotaceae. In: Milne-Redhead, E. & Polhill, R.M. (Editors). Flora of Tropical East Africa. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. 79 pp.
• Katende, A.B., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1995. Useful trees and shrubs for Uganda: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook 10. Regional Soil Conservation Unit, Nairobi, Kenya. 710 pp.
Other references
• Aubréville, A., 1959. La flore forestière de la Côte d’Ivoire. Deuxième édition révisée. Tome troisième. Publication No 15. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 334 pp.
• Beentje, H.J., 1994. Kenya trees, shrubs and lianas. National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya. 722 pp.
• Bekele-Tesemma, A., Birnie, A. & Tengnäs, B., 1993. Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia: identification, propagation and management for agricultural and pastoral communities. Technical Handbook No 5. Regional Soil Conservation Unit/SIDA, Nairobi, Kenya. 474 pp.
• Lovett, J.C., Ruffo, C.K. & Gereau, R.E., 2003. Field guide to the moist forest trees of Tanzania. [Internet] Centre for Ecology Law and Policy, Environment Department, University of York, York, United Kingdom. http://www.york.ac.uk/ res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/ tree%20guide/guide.htm. Accessed February 2005.
• Coates Palgrave, K., 1983. Trees of southern Africa. 2nd Edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa. 959 pp.
• de la Mensbruge, G., 1966. La germination et les plantules des essences arborées de la forêt dense humide de la Côte d’Ivoire. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 389 pp.
• Friis, I., 1981. The taxonomy and distribution of Mimusops laurifolia (Sapotaceae). Kew Bulletin 35(4): 785–792.
• Kupicha, F.K., 1983. Sapotaceae. In: Launert, E. (Editor). Flora Zambesiaca. Volume 7, part 1. Flora Zambesiaca Managing Committee, London, United Kingdom. pp. 210–247.
• Neumann, K. & Müller-Haude, P., 1999. Forêts seches au sud-ouest du Burkina Faso; végétation, sols, action de l’homme. Phytocoenologia 29: 53–85.
• van Wyk, B.E. & Gericke, N., 2000. People’s plants: a guide to useful plants of southern Africa. Briza Publications, Pretoria, South Africa. 351 pp.
Author(s)
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
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., 2005. Mimusops kummel Bruce ex A.DC. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.