Scientific nameMelia volkensii
Native distributionTropical Africa
BiologyIt is a medium-sized, dry deciduous tree. It rarely grows more than 15m tall with pinnate leaves and dense clusters of greenish white flowers followed by plum sized fruits with a stony seed.
EcologyIt’s a fast growing tree species.
HabitatFound in dry bushland, woodland and drier wooded grasslands as well as riverine forests from southern Ethiopia to northeastern Tanzania between 300 and 1700 m.
WoodThe wood is hard, brown, and makes good timber, resistant to attack by borers. The wood is easily worked and shaped, making it suitable for making acoustic drums, containers and mortars and is decay resistant.
NTFPsIt is a highly prized tree in the dry areas where it is intercropped with food crops with no adverse effects and occasionally improved yields.
ServicesIt is being promoted in eastern Africa for its excellent, rot and insect-resistant hardwood and agroforestry qualities combined with fast growth and drought tolerance. It adapts well to drier tropical and warm temperate climates.
Other informationFarmers grow Mukau tree as a protection against drought