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Cynometra alexandri - C.H.Wright

Common Name Uganda ironwood, Muhimbi
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rain forest on firm ground; usually gregarious; at elevations from 700 - 1,200 metres[ 328 ].
Range Tropical Africa - DR Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cynometra alexandri Uganda ironwood, Muhimbi

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Cynometra alexandri Uganda ironwood, Muhimbi
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Found in tropical lowland forests of central and east Africa, Uganda Ironwood or Muhimbi (Cynometra alexandri) is a legume that reaches up to 50 m in height. It is characterized by a wide, flat-topped crown and straight, cylindrical bole that can be branchless for up to 26 m. The bole is usually 20-150 cm in diameter with extensive thin buttresses near the base. It is highly valued for its timber. The heartwood is resistant to termite damage and is used in heavy-duty flooring, construction, marine work and railway sleepers. It is also used for fuel and charcoal-making.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Cynometra alexandri is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 30 m (98ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


Cynometra sankuruensis Vermoesen


Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is used for soil conservation[ 364 ]. Other Uses: The heartwood is a dull reddish-brown with darker markings; it is clearly defined from the grayish sapwood, which turns pale yellow upon exposure. The texture is fine; the grain usually interlocked; without lustrr; sometimes figured. The wood is very heavy and hard, being very resistant to abrasion; the heartwood is rated as durable and highly resistant to termite attack. It dries slowly, with a tendency to surface and end checking, but with little warp. It is fairly difficult to work with hand and machine tools; has a rather severe blunting effect on cutters; turns very well; has moderate steam-bending properties. It is used for purposes such as industrial and heavy-duty flooring, heavy construction including marine work, railroad crossties, mining props, posts etc[ 316 , 364 , 610 ]. The wood is used for fuel and to make charcoal[ 364 ]. Due to its physical properties, such as bending strength, inter-node distance, and leaf surface area, the Muhimbi is favoured by chimpanzees for their daily construction of sleeping platforms or ?nests?.

Cultivation details

They grow gregariously in drier forest types and as a constituent of swamp forests.



Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Uganda Ironwood or Muhimbi (Cynometra alexandri).

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Central and east Africa.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

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Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Cynometra alexandri  
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