Milicia excelsa (Iroko, Mvule)
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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids >
Eurosid I > Order: Rosales > Family: Moraceae
- A large tree, reaching about 50 m in height.
- Leaves simple, spirally arranged, large, measuring about
12-18 cm long and 6.5-9.5 cm wide, green above and paler below
with velvety pubescence.
- Flowers in spikes, unisexual with sexes on separate trees.
Male flowers white, female flowers greenish.
- Fruit has a similar structure to a mulberry
Distribution and habitat
Native to the African tropics, with the
distribution extending into southern Africa where it is found in
southeastern Zimbabwe (where it is considered rare) and Mozambique.
Grows in low-altitude evergreen forest.
- Flowers from September to October.
- Fruits from October to December.
Fruit are eaten by birds and bats.
- The wood is brown, becoming darker with oiling and exposure.
It is termed iroko or mvule and is sought after as timber, used
mainly for building.
- Palgrave, K.C. and Palgrave, M.C. 2002. Trees of Southern Africa. 3rd
Edition. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.