Erythrophleum suaveolens (Guill. & Perr.) Brenan

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Erythrophleum suaveolens

Drawing: Patricia Bingham

Erythrophleum suaveolens

Leaflet, fruit
Drawing: Patricia Bingham

Erythrophleum suaveolens

Ntumbachusi falls
Sep 2008
Photo: Mike Bingham

Erythrophleum suaveolens

Flower; Lumangwe falls; Sep 2008.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Erythrophleum suaveolens

Ntumbachusi falls
Sep 2008
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Erythrophleum guineense G. Don
Common names:
Status: Native
Medium to large tree to 20 m. Bark rough and blackish. Leaves 2-pinnate with 2-3 pairs of pinnae; leaflets 7-13 per pinna, large, alternate, ovate, up to 5 × 2.5 cm, glossy dark green. Flowers in fluffy spikes, cream to yellow. Fruit a hard, flat woody pod, splitting along one side while still on the tree.
Type location:
South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
Notes: Flora Zambesiaca has Erythrophleum lasianthum distinct from E. suaveolens, but notes that it shares characters of this species and E. africanum. South African botanists prefer to keep E. lasianthum. In the early 1970s I was shown a small stand of trees, long since turned into charcoal, in miombo woodland in the Misaka National Forest near Kitwe, which was typical E. africanum except for the leaflets, which were shaped like those of E. suaveolens, but with papery texture like E. africanum. It had been identified as E. guineense, now a synonym of E. suaveolens.
Derivation of specific name: suaveolens: sweet-scented
Habitat: Gallery forest, dry evergreen forest.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Aug - Nov
Worldwide distribution:
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Lp,N,C
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 26 June 2013

Brummitt, R.K., Chikuni, A.C., Lock, J.M. & Polhill, R.M. (2007). Leguminosae Subfamily Caesalpinioideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(2) Pages 205 - 207. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 256. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 213.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 242.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 44.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 91.

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 73.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 93.

Other sources of information about Erythrophleum suaveolens:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Erythrophleum suaveolens
Flora of Mozambique: Erythrophleum suaveolens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Erythrophleum suaveolens

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Erythrophleum suaveolens
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Erythrophleum suaveolens
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Erythrophleum suaveolens
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Erythrophleum suaveolens
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Erythrophleum suaveolens
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Erythrophleum suaveolens
JSTOR Plant Science: Erythrophleum suaveolens
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Erythrophleum suaveolens
Plants of the World Online: Erythrophleum suaveolens
Tropicos: Erythrophleum suaveolens
Wikipedia: Erythrophleum suaveolens

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Erythrophleum suaveolens., retrieved 2 March 2024

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