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Uapaca kirkiana - M?ll.Arg.

Common Name Wild Loquat
Family Phyllanthaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Lowland forest, secondary miombo woodland such as clearing and gaps, and open woodland. Grows in well-drained escarpments, with infertile sand or gravel soils of acidic reaction[303 ].
Range Tropical Africa - Angola, Burundi, Tanzania and the Congo.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Uapaca kirkiana Wild Loquat

Steven Haw
Uapaca kirkiana Wild Loquat
Ton Rulkens


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Wild Loquat or Uapaca kirkland is a tropical small tree about 5-12 m tall with a rounded crown and dark gray, rough bark. It can be evergreen or semi-deciduous. The branches are multiple and spreading and the bole is short and stout. The leaves are leathery, oval, and scattered or clustered at terminal branches. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruits are round and rusty-yellow. Root infusion is used in the treatment of indigestion and dysentery. The fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. It is fleshy, sweet, and delicious. It can also be made into wine, cakes, porridge. The tree is planted for soil erosion control, as a shade tree, and as an ornamental. The roots yield blue dye and the leaves are used as a cockroach repellent. The wood, being hard, durable and resistant to termite attacks, is ideal for general carpentry, furniture, house building, carvings and boxes, and many others. If not for the said uses, it is used as fuel and for making charcoal.

Physical Characteristics

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Uapaca kirkiana is an evergreen Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Uapaca albida De Wild. Uapaca benguelensis M?ll.Arg. Uapaca goetzei Pax Uapaca greenwayi Suesseng. U


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[398 ]. Fleshy and sweet, it has a delicious flavour[398 ]. The fruit is commonly eaten fresh and is highly regarded[301 , 303 ]. It can also be used for brewing a very pleasant wine or for making cakes that are fried and eaten[301 ]. The juice of the fruit is mixed with sorghum meal to form a thin, orange-flavoured porridge[301 ]. The fruit pulp is juicy, honey-like, very tasty and somewhat reminiscent of pears[301 ]. Dried fruits have a toffee-like flavour[301 ]. The fruit is about 4cm x 4cm.


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

An infusion made from the roots is used to treat indigestion and dysentery[418 ].


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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is planted for erosion control, shade, shelter, living fence and as an ornamental. It forms a mutual association with mycorrhizae and act as a soil improver and is an important agro-forestry tree[418 ]. Other Uses A blue dye is made from the roots[303 ]. The leaves are used as a cockroach repellent in homes[303 , 418 ]. Wood is light with white sapwood and reddish-brown, figured heartwood. It is hard and durable, has a straight grain, saws clean and can be planed to a smooth finish. It glues well, holds nails firmly and takes a clear varnish finish. Suitable for general carpentry, house building and domestic utensils, furniture and joinery, carvings and boxes. It is termite resistant[303 ]. The wood is used as a fuel and to make charcoal[418 ]. Charcoal made from the wood is highly regarded, and many trees are cut specifically for this purpose[303 ]. It is also a good source of firewood[303 ].

Special Uses


Cultivation details

The plant is are found wild at an altitude of 500 - 2,000 metres in the tropics[303 ]. It grows best where the mean annual temperature is within the range of 18 - 24°c, though it tolerates 12 - 32°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 700 - 1,500mm, but can tolerate 500 - 2,000mm[303 , 418 ]. Plants are very intolerant of frost[323 ]. Prefers a sunny position, tolerating light shade[418 ]. Tolerant of poor, shallow, gravel and sandy loam soils[303 ]. Normally found in acidic soils with a pH 4 - 6.5[303 , 418 ]. Dioecious - both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required[303 ].


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Seed - needs to be sown fresh since it has a limited viability of about 3 weeks[303 ]. Germination is usually good, especially if the seed is scarified first[303 ]. Young seedlings need to be given some shade[303 ]. Division of suckers[303 ]. Cuttings

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Hekela msuku, Kanono, Macunapa, Mahobohobo, Masuku, Matue, Mesange, Mguhu, Mgulu, Mgusu, Mkusu, Mompangwe, Msuku, Mtjunku, Mtoto, Muguhu, Musukuti, Umugusu,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Angola; Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Malawi; Mozambique; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe, Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Sierra Leone, Southern Africa, Tanzania, West Africa.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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