Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page



The tree is found in lowland forest, secondary Miombo woodland such as clearings and gaps, open woodland, and amongst rocks at medium altitudes with good rainfall. U. kirkiana occurs in Geita, Njombe, Ruvuma, Tabora, Mbeya, and Iringa (FAO 1986).

Minimum Altitude (m):


Maximum Altitude (m):


Minimum Rainfall (mm):


Maximum Rainfall (mm):



Soil Requirements: Tolerates poor, shallow soils, gravel, and sandy loam soils.

Influential Factors: It is always found on poor and shallow soils (RSCU 1992).


Means of Propagation: Seed, cuttings, wildlings, root suckers, and coppice. Natural regeneration may be the most reliable method.

Seed Treatments: Pretreatment is not necessary. Seed does not store well.

Seedling Management: Seed does not remain viable long so it must be sown fresh. Germination is good and natural regeneration is adequate.


Planting Types: Used in agroforestry, around home compounds, and boundaries especially in Miombo woodlands. It is left standing on cleared land.

Growth Factors: Fairly fast growing.

Growth Cycle: U. kirkiana flowers and fruits during the rainy season, and fruits ripen from September through December (FAO 1986). Fruits are edible from October through February.

Management Systems: The tree has coppicing ability. Natural regeneration is reliable but protection of wildlings is important.


Use #1: FRUIT
U. kirkiana is highly regarded for its fruit. Trees are generally retained for the fruit, which are eaten by children and adults, and used to make a sweet beer sold in the market in Ruvuma. It is an important famine food in the drier areas of Tanzania. It is often prepared as a sweetmeat or jam, especially in neighbouring countries. There is considerable potential for domestication of this species considering its popularity with farmers.

The root is used to treat indigestion.

Charcoal from this tree is highly regarded and many trees are cut for this purpose. It is also used for firewood in areas where the demand for charcoal is low.

OTHER USES: Flowers are valuable for honey production.

The wood is fairly durable, straight-grained with white sap wood and red-brown figured heartwood. It is termite resistant. It is used to make furniture, for domestic uses such as spoons, and as timber.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page