Rubiaceae - Gardenia family
SA Tree no 684
This tree is found along the permanent rivers, occurring at low altitudes, and in riverine fringe forests.
It is a single-trunked tree, which overhangs large, flowing rivers and both small and large trees are easily identifiable. They are medium to large trees, 10 - 40 m, with moderate density, and an irregular, narrow canopy of fresh, shiny , green leaves, which are thin and lancet-shaped, and are crowded at the end of the branches. The leaves tend to grow upwards, like the leaves of a pineapple. The bark is grey-brown and rough, with grooves that run lengthways.
Human uses - The bark is used to alleviate stomach complaints; the wood, which is hard, heavy, and durable, is yellow to light brown, is used for flooring, boats, canoes and fine furniture, and is also used for building huts and cattle kraals.
Gardening - The ornamental matumi need very well-watered soils, as found along large ponds, dams or streams. It is not frost- or drought-resistant. It grows fairly rapidly from seed, in coarse sandy soils.
Leaves - Simple, narrow, elliptic, with a smooth margin. Crowns of four leaves clustered at the end of branches tend to grow upwards. The leathery leaf is dark green on top, and a lighter green below, while new leaves are a pale yellow-green. Leaves are without hair; the veins pale yellowish-green and conspicuous; apex and base narrowly tapering; petiole thickset, up to 20 mm long. Stipules quite large, narrowly triangular and falling early. (175 x 35 mm)
Flowers - Inconspicuous, small, pale mauve, sweetly scented, in compact round axillary heads up to 40 mm in diameter; on long slender stalks up to 60 mm long, with 2 leaf- like bracts along their length. They are bisexual; all floral parts in fives; calyx lobes short; corolla tubular. widening into a funnel-shaped throat, 5-lobed; disc cup-shaped; stamens inserted in the throat of the tube, protruding from the mouth; ovary 2-chambered, light yellow balls grow in the leaf origin, from November to March. (20 mm
Fruit - The fruit is small, brown, 2-lobed capsule, densely clustered into round heads which grow in the leaf origin, giving a rough, crusty wart-like appearance. They are visible during January and February. (2 - 3 mm)
This is a protected tree in the Republic of South Africa.
Best places to see the Matumi (Mingerhout) in Southern Africa:
The Matumi (Mingerhout) is found in the Kruger National Park in the Sabie Crocodile Thorn Thickets, Riverine Communities, Olifants Rugged Veld & Alluvial Plains ecozones.
Tree species of Southern Africa >> Printable Tree List <<
South African Trees >> Printable Tree List <<
The Plant Kingdom (Plantae)
Wildlife - Fauna & Flora of Southern Africa
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