Xeroderris stuhlmannii

Botanical Name: Xeroderris stuhlmannii

Common Name: Wing Pod, Muzwamaloa, Chitondotondo, Mutundula    

Plant Family: Fabaceae (Legume Family) Papilionoideae

Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution: A medium sized deciduous tree, trunk and branches often crooked, with a spreading crown. Confined to the drier, southern parts of Zambia, at low to medium altitudes, mainly in Munga woodland but occasionally in most other woodland types.

Size: Height up to 23m, up to 14m.

Bark: Variable grey-brown, rough and scaly. Exudes a crimson sap if damaged.

Leaves: Spirally arranged at the tips of branches, compound, imparipinnate, with 4 to 15 pairs of usually opposite, or sub-opposite, large, asymmetric, oblong to ovate, blue-green leaflets (5 to 13cm), folded around the midrib, apex rounded, hairy when young. Petiole up to 10cm.

Flowers: Dioecious. In branched terminal and axillary showy sprays in branched terminal or axial sprays (up to 20cm), with white or greenish pea-like flowers from rust-coloured buds, September to November.

Fruit: A flat, brown, indehiscent, pod (10 to 18cm), swollen and veined over the seeds and with broad wings on the margin, maturing in clusters the following May to August, holding 1 to 4 brown seeds.

Uses: The wood is dark yellow but splits. The pods and leaves are browsed by elephant and antelope and the bark and gum produce a red dye, also used in tanning.