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Vitex keniensis

SynonymsVitex balbi Chiov.
Common namesmoru oak, meru oak, mfuu
Ecocrop code10880

DESCRIPTION: It is a fairly fast-growing deciduous tree reaching 12-30 m in height and 1.8-3 m in trunk diameter. The bole may be 12-18 m with very thin, rough and slightly fissured bark. Leaves 5-foliolate, leaflets obovate 5.5-1.7 x 3.2-8.5 cm. Fruit ellipsoid, 13-16 mm long, green at first, becoming soft and black when mature, the hairy calyx persisting. The inner nut usually has 4-5 seeds. USE: The fruit is edible but usually eaten only in an emergency. The timber is hard and durable, very pale and similar to teak. The heartwood of trees over 60 cm in diameter is often dark and very decorative. It works easily and is used for cabinet work, panelling, veneer, furniture and coffin boards and also as firewood. The tree is planted as a windbreak and ornamental. Fallen leaves make a useful mulch. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Meru oak. FURTHER INF: It can be found in moist evergreen forest and on thicketed rocky hills. Prefers deep sandy-loam soils.
SOURCE: ICRAF Agroforestree Database (19.07.02) E10880