The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status 2010: protocol 3.1

Afrocarpus dawei

(Stapf) C.N. Page 1989

Common names

Taxonomic notes

Syn.: Podocarpus dawei Stapf 1917, Podocarpus usumbarensis Pilg. var. dawei (Stapf) Melv. 1954 (Farjon 1998).


Trees to 30 m tall and 100 cm dbh, with a long clear bole and small, flat-topped crown. Bark dark brown turning gray with age, forming small angular plates, flaking. Twigs ridged, more or less quadrangular. Foliage dense. Seedling and sapling leaves mostly opposite, linear-lanceolate, up to 17 cm × 4-8 mm, tapering, finely pointed. Adult leaves smaller; 3-5 cm × 2-4 mm, spirally arranged, with a raised midrib on the lower side, gray-green, the outer quarter of the leaf's length tapering to an acute apex. Pollen cones in 1's, 2's or 3's, each subtended by whorl of papery bracts, catkin-like, 10-20 × 2.5-3.5 mm, microsporophylls spirally arranged, triangular-trullate, 1 mm wide, each with two globose pollen sacs. Seed cones solitary on scaly twigs axillary to or below foliage leaves, at maturity consisting of a single seed completely enclosed by a globose fleshy epimatium 23-30 mm diameter, green ripening yellow. Seed ovoid, 12-15 × 16-21 mm, with a 2-4 mm thick, hard seed coat (Farjon 2010).

Differs from the other species of Afrocarpus in having a clearly ovoid rather than globose seed (property shared with the narrow endemic A. mannii, but that species bears its seed in a pear-shaped epimatium) that has a rugose surface and a 2-4 mm thick seed coat (other species have smooth or verrucose seeds with thinner or thicker seed coats).

Distribution and Ecology

Tanzania (Kagara and Mara provinces), Uganda; occurs at 1100-1200 m elevation as a codominant or emergent tree in seasonally flooded forests along rivers E and S of Lake Victoria; common associates include Baikiaea minor and Mimusops sp. (Farjon 2010). The IUCN reports that the population status is unknown.

Big tree




Timber is sought after for use in construction and carpentry, but exploitation is not widespread and is primarily for local use (Farjon 2010).


Farjon (2010) reports that most collections are from the Minziro Forest Reserve in Tanzania, which suggests that it is relatively accessible in that area.



See also

The species account at Threatened Conifers of the World.

Last Modified 2017-12-29