Prunus africana (Hook. f.) Kalkman

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Prunus africana

Photo: Mike Bingham
Malawi, Thyolo

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Synonyms: Laurocerasus africana (Hook. f.) Browicz
Pygeum africanum Hook. f.
Pygeum crassifolium Hauman
Common names: African almond (English) Bitter almond (English) Red stinkwood (English)
Medium to large evergreen tree. Bark dark brown, rough. Leaves elliptic, 5-15 cm long, hairless, glossy dark green above, paler beneath with distinct, darker veining; margin finely toothed with 1-2 glandular dots between the teeth near the base; petiole 1-2 cm long, channelled, often reddish. Inflorescences 7-15-flowered, axillary, 3-7 cm long. Flowers white, small with 10-20 stamens. Fruit wider than long, up to 1.2 cm in diameter, red to purple-brown, very bitter.
Derivation of specific name: africana: African
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Sep - Nov & Mar - May
Worldwide distribution: Ghana, Nigeria, Bioko, São Tomé, Cameroun, DRC, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Southern Cape, South Africa.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 237. (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 171. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 249 - 250.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 99.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 19.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 239.

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 70.

Mendes, E.J. (1978). Rosaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 10 - 12. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 86.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 138 - 139. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 159.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 152 - 153. (Includes a picture).

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Pages 452 - 454. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Prunus africana:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Prunus africana
Flora of Zambia: Prunus africana
Flora of Zimbabwe: Prunus africana
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Prunus africana

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Prunus africana
African Plant Database: Prunus africana
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Prunus africana
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Prunus africana
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Prunus africana
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Prunus africana
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Prunus africana
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Prunus africana
iNaturalist: Prunus africana
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Prunus africana
JSTOR Plant Science: Prunus africana
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Prunus africana
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Prunus africana
Plants of the World Online: Prunus africana
The Plant List (version 1.1): Prunus africana
Tropicos: Prunus africana
Wikipedia: Prunus africana

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-20

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2020). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Prunus africana., retrieved 17 February 2020

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