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Common Names: Pigeon Wood, Mutumpu, Kambombo, Mchende, Mululwe 
Family: Cannabaceae


Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution 
A semi-evergreen shrub or tree with untidily spreading branches, giving a pleasant dappled shade. Occurring at low densities across northern, eastern, central and southern Zambia, mainly on sandy and alluvial soils, but not on Kalahari sands. Usually in wetter areas, such as riverine, or montane habitats. Often a pioneer tree in disturbed areas.

Size    Height up to 18m, spread up to 20m.
Bark    Grey, or creamy-brown and smooth but with parallel marks.
Leaves    Simple, alternate, papery, ovate to lanceolate, 4 to 20cm, light green and hairless above, paler and veins prominent below and sometimes hairy, 3-veined from the base rounded base and the apex tapering sharply to a point, margin finely serrated entirely. Petiole short, 5 to 10mm. 
Flowers    Monoecious. Small, inconspicuous, green, or yellow-green, inflorescences in dense axillary clusters, mainly male flowers with female flowers at the top, mainly December to February but year-round.
Fruit    Glossy, black berry (4 to 6mm) on short stalks containing one black seed in bright green flesh, the first fruit ripening while the last flowers are still on the tree, mainly January to June.
Uses    Birds favour the seeds. The bark and leaves have medicinal properties and produce dark-coloured dyes. Germinates readily, grows fast and makes a good garden or avenue tree.
Other species in Zambia: None and only the single species in Africa.

Trema orientale

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