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This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to S. Africa.


Sapotaceae, F. K. Kupicha. Flora Zambesiaca 7:1. 1983

Tree 3–40 m. high; bole of larger specimens shallowly fluted near the base; slash pink; bark brown or blackish grey, longitudinally fissured.
Young stems glabrous to densely greyish–pubescent but soon glabrescent.
Twigs with granular grey bark.
Leaves tending to be clustered at branch ends. Lamina 3·5–7(13) x 1·5–5 cm., elliptic–obovate to obovate, apex emarginate, acute or apiculate, base acute; petiole 6–18 mm. long. Upper leaf surface glabrous, dark green, midrib impressed, very fine reticulation visible but veins not raised or impressed. Lower surface silvery–sericeous with a dense appressed indumentum, midrib prominent, main lateral nerves faintly visible, numerous, reticulation obscured by indumentum.
Flowers yellow, in axillary fascicles on pedicels 3–6 mm. long. Form of flowers variable (see J. H. Hemsley, tom. cit.: 500–510, 1966); normal form as follows.
Calyx c. 4 mm. long, sepals ovate.
Corolla equalling calyx, tube c. 1 mm. long; each petal 3–lobed, the median segment obovate, tapering to a slender basal attachment, the lateral segments elliptic.
Stamens 12 in 2 whorls; anthers c. 1·5 mm. long.
Staminodes absent.
Gynoecium c. 3 mm. long.
Other flower forms: corolla simpler, petals entire (lateral segments absent) or trifid, or lateral segments present but united to near the apex; stamens all, or only the inner whorl, replaced by staminodes, these filament–like or represented by dentate flaps of tissue. (Flowers with a reduced androecium, i.e. less than 12 stamens, have a reduced corolla.)
Fruit up to 1–3 x 0–8 cm., ovoid or ellipsoid, initially puberulous, glabrescent and yellow when ripe, edible, 1 (2)–seeded.
Seeds up to 1 cm. long.


Sapotaceae, J. H. Hemsley. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

Small to medium tree, height up to 30 m., with rough dark grey or blackish bark.
Terminal buds, young shoots and petioles glabrescent.
Petioles 0.5–1.7 cm. long.
Leaf-lamina oblong-elliptic to oblong-obovate, up to 9.5(–11) cm. long, 4.5(–5.3) cm. wide, apex rounded and slightly emarginate or rarely shortly acuminate, broadly to narrowly cuneate, coriaceous; upper surface deep green with reticulum of very fine veins, lower surface silvery-grey with dense indumentum of minute closely appressed regularly arranged hairs sometimes brownish on midrib and main nerves or midrib glabrescent.
Flowers axillary, usually in clusters of 4–6 in axils of current leaves.
Pedicels 3–10 mm. long, with brown pubescence.
Calyx-lobes connate near base; outer lobes ovate or ovate-oblong, 4.5–6 mm. long, 3–3.7 mm. wide, with brown pubescence externally; inner lobes slightly smaller and with less pubescence.
Corolla yellow; tube ±1.5 mm. long; lobes trifid, or entire in ♀ flowers; two outer segments ± lanceolate, up to 4 mm. long; median segment ± elliptic, up to 5 mm. long, tapering to narrow basal attachment.
Fertile stamens 6–12; filaments up to 3.5 mm. long; anthers up to 2.5 mm. long.
Staminodes truncate or subulate, ± 1 mm. long, or sometimes filament-like and then up to 3.5 mm. long, irregularly denticulate or with few long teeth.
Ovary depressed globose, pilose; style up to 4 mm. long; stigma simple or sometimes 6-papillate.
Fruit ovoid or ± ellipsoid, up to 1.3 cm. long, 0.8 cm. in diameter, puberulous when young but becoming glabrescent.
Seeds solitary or rarely two present, obliquely ovoid and slightly flattened, up to 10 mm. long, 6 mm. in diameter; hilum lateral, oblique and extending to base.
Fig. 13, p. 71.
Lowland and upland dry evergreen forest and well-drained sites in upland rain-forest; 400–2100 m.
K3 K4 K5 K6 T3 T7 T8 southwards to Mozambique, Malawi, Rhodesia and Natal Province of South Africa

Native to:

Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Manilkara discolor (Sond.) J.H.Hemsl. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Mar 1, 1956 Wood, J.M. [1134], South Africa K000901129
Buchanan, J. [684], Malawi K000901118 isotype
Jan 1, 2016 Gerrard [1661], South Africa Labourdonnaisia sericea K000874374 lectotype
Jan 1, 2016 Gerrard [1661], South Africa Labourdonnaisia sericea K000874372 isolectotype
Guerinzins [s.n.], South Africa Labourdonnaisia sericea K000874373

First published in Kew Bull. 20: 510 (1966)

Accepted by

  • Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Alves, T., Francisco, J., Harris, T., Nangoma, D. & de Sousa, C. (2009). Biodiversity and Conservation of Mchese Mountain, Malawi. Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036: 1-71. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34: 1-199.
  • Calane da Silva, M., Izdine, S. & Amuse, A.B. (2004). A Preliminary Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Mozambique: 1-184. SABONET, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Pennington, D. (2001 publ. 2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Sapotaceae: 1-364. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • J. H. Hemsl. in Kew Bulletin 20: 510 (1966).
  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 526 (1961).

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

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Kew Backbone Distributions
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Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
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© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.