Entandrophragma excelsum

  • Category: Species
  • Author: Fabrice Feyton
  • Published: May 1, 2020
  • Views: 225

Common names: Kinyarwanda: “Umuyove”, English: “African mahogany” and Kiswahili: “Myovu”. Entandrophragma excelsum is a deciduous tree which grows up to a height ranging 30 to 50 meters high. The tree have a clear bole and strongly developed buttresses which extend 4 to 5 meters up the trunk.


  • BarkEntandrophragma excelsum have a grey and thick bark with pale pink-orange patches and scaling in flat pieces on older trees
  • Leaves: Pinnate, and dull green leaves (up to 60 cm long) with 10-14 large leaflets which are up to 18 cm long and 8 cm wide.
  • FlowersEntandrophragma excelsum have small and white flowers produced from large panicles
  • Fruits: Dark brown- black, cylindrical and woody capsules (12-20cm long and 3-4 cm diameter). Entandrophragma excelsum fruits break open into 5 parts and release winged seeds of 6-8 cm long and 1.5-2 cm wide.

Ecological requirements

  • Entandrophragma excelsum is distributed from DRC eastwards to Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi
  • It grows in montane and mid-altitude rainforests, sometimes in riverine forests at lower altitude from 1280-2150 meters and rainfall 435-1969 mm
  • In Rwanda, the species is naturally found in Nyungwe. It has bees plated at Ruhande from 1740-1800 meters


Seeds and propagation

Entandrophragma excelsum is propagated using seedlings or wildlings. Collect mature fruits from the tree or from the ground; dry them in sun and extract seeds by hand using a knife. There are 1200-1500 seeds per kilogram. Germination is very good and can attain 30-80% after 4-6 weeks from sowing. No pre-treatment required before sowing but the wings should be broken off. Seeds are susceptible to insect attack, therefore it is advisable to use ash for reducing insect damage. Stored in a cool place, seeds can retain viability for six months

Tree management

Entandrophragma excelsum needs nurse trees in early stage and needs regular weeding at this stage. It can be planted as a shade tree i banana, coffee and tea plantation


  • Timber
  • Firewood
  • Charcoal
  • Poles
  • Veneer
  • Ornamental
  • Shade

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