Location: Nthungwa Forest

General Information

Quarter degree square: 1133D2

Country: Malawi

Habitat: Montane evergreen forest, montane grassland and rocky outcrops

Altitude range: 1600 - 1850 m

Annual rainfall:

Location (short): Evergreen forest area on the South Viphya Plateau, East of the M1, c. 35 km Southwest of Mzuzu.

Location (detailed):


Copied from Dowsett-Lemaire in Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2): 37-38 (1989):

Nthungwa is the most mature and species-rich forest on the Viphya. From upper levels at 1800 m, the forest descends northwards and separates at 1750 m into two broad steep gullies either side of a grassy spur. The tall canopy (25-30 m) is broken locally by the sheer gradient. Entandrophragma, alongside Cryptocarya and Ficalhoa, is an impressive emergent. There are a 40 m tall Faurea wentzeliana in the western gully at 1700 Common trees there include Albizia schimperana and Prunus africana. More widespread canopy species are Chrysophyllum, Cola greenwayi, Cussonia spicata, the strangler Ficus thonningii and Macaranga kilimandscharica. As elsewhere (e.g. Misuku, N. Viphya), Myrianthus holstii, Tabernaemontana stapfiana, Garcinia volkensii and G. kingaensis) are the dominant medium-sized trees. Dracaena fragrans spreads on the slopes; another gregarious small tree, Anisotes sp. (n° 840, closely related to A. nyassae) is locally frequent up to the narrow ridge between the gullies. Away from streams, the understorey is dominated by Rubiaceae, in particular Chassalia parvifolia, Lasianthus kilimandscharicus and Psychotria zombamontana - as on the eastern Nyika and N. Viphya. Deinbollia kilimandscharica, a small tree 2-5 m high (apparently restricted in Malawi to this forest and Chamambo), is not uncommon on the ridge. Lowland elements such as Englerophytum magalismontanum, Dalbergia fischeri and Rutidea orientalis intrude into the lower gullies, up to 1600 m or 1700 m.
Among a fairly rich fern flora, the large Pneumatopteris prismaticus occurs in the western gully; Asplenium ceii, A. linckii and A. gemmascens grow in tufts on the steep, east-facing slopes. On the forest edge between the two gullies (at c. 1750 m), a tree 6-7 m-tall was collected sterile (Ecol. 91): it has broad, rusty tomentose, opposite leaves and a 15 cm trunk and may belong to Loganiaceae.

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Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Malawi: Location details: Nthungwa Forest.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/location-display.php?location_id=222, retrieved 10 December 2023

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