A tree of muwaha
Anisophyllea exellii, Anisophyllea pomifera, Anisophyllea gossweileri
Muhawa is a
fruit from southern Africa. It grows wild n sandy rocky soils upto an
altitude of 1300 m from Tanzania to Zaire. It is especially popular in
Evergreen shrub or tree up to 10 m. high with dense
and close ramification; bark smooth to rough, brown to grey; young
branchlets crimson, later yellowish-brown, ± densely tomentose (hairs
long, mesodermatose, slightly twisted, reddish-brown to yellowish-brown
A fruiting branch of muwaha
Main leaf-lamina usually 5?10x2?5·5 cm.
long, ovate, narrowly to broadly elliptic, lanceolate, obovate or,
rarely, subcircular, narrowed to an acute or obtuse apex (sometimes
rounded or, rarely, retuse or emarginate) and cuneate to obtuse,
symmetric or slightly asymmetric at the base, ± leathery; superior
surface ± glossy (purplish-pink or pale green to yellowish and ± densely
tomentose when young, dark green to brownish-green or yellowish and
pubescent to glabrescent, with short scattered hairs, with age);
inferior surface mat (yellowish-green or brownish-yellow and densely
tomentose when young, yellowish-green to brownish and densely to
sparsely tomentose, with rather short, meso- or pachydermatose hairs,
with age); midrib prominent, yellow, with long dense bristles below;
petiole 2?5 mm. long, densely ferrugineous-hairy. Spikes 3?10(15) cm.
long, stout, usually composite, often many-branched, yellowish-brown,
densely tomentose (hairs strong or flexuous, meso-pachydermatose), ±
remotely flowered, upright, usually in the axils of smaller (up to 3 cm.
long), obovate and deciduous leaves (false bracts) at the base of the
current years growth.
Flowers 4-5-merous, bisexual, densely
tomentose; bracts ± 2 mm. long, subterete. Calyx-lobes 2 mm. long,
triangular to deltate, pale green (tinged purplish-pink externally),
densely tomentose outside and glabrous inside, their margins ciliolate.
Petals 3 mm. long, 3-lobed (central lobe slender and undivided, lateral
lobes broader and 2?3-laciniate), white, glabrous, papillose. Stamens
with filaments 2 mm. long, subulate, incurved; anthers 0·3 mm. long,
broadly ovoid. Ovary 1·5 mm. long, campanulate, 4?5-locular. Styles 4?5,
1·5 mm. long, pyriform with leptodermatose hairs (sometimes with the
apex inflated and apiculate at the extremity) towards the base,
divergent, bent outwards. Stigmas spherical with spherical papillae.
Fruit a drupe 3·5 x 2 cm., ellipsoid,
Muwaha produces a red cherry like fruit which is
sweet and tasty. This fruit has been selected for domestication and
commercialization by various agencies in these countries.
The fruiting season of muwaha ,
however, is quite brief.