Terminalia mantaly

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Related Links
The bright-green, smooth, almost waxy leaves are borne in terminal rosettes of 4-9 unequal leaves.
© Ellis RP
The main stem is straight, erect and smooth with the layered branches arising horizontally in whorls. Here from Nairobi.
© Ellis RP
The layered branches are a feature of this species.
© Ellis RP
Terminalia mantaly
© Patrick Maundu

Local names:
English (umbrella tree,terminalia)

Terminalia mantaly grows 10-20 m with an erect stem and neat, conspicuously layered branches. Bark pale grey, smooth and rather mottled.

Leaves smooth, bright green when young, in terminal rosettes of 4-9 unequal leaves on short, thickened stems; length up to 7 cm, apex broadly rounded, base very tapered, margin wavy.

Flowers small, greenish, in erect spikes to 5 cm long.

Fruit small oval; seeds, about 1.5 cm long with no obvious wings.

The generic name comes from the Latin ‘terminalis’ (ending), and refers to the habit of the leaves being crowded at the ends of the shoots.


T. mantaly is usually evergreen at higher altitudes; it is drought resistant once established.

Native range

Tree management

T. mantaly is a fast-growing species on good sites.

T. mantaly is usually evergreen at higher altitudes; it is drought resistant once established.

Since the tree rarely flowers at high altitudes, seed is collected from trees in hotter, low areas. Can be propagated from seedlings. Before sowing, the wing is removed from the seed, which is then soaked in cold water for 24 hours.

Shade or shelter: An excellent spreading shade tree.

Tannin or dyestuff: In its native habitat, the bark and wood are used for dyeing.

Medicine: The bark and wood are used in Madagascar for treating dysentery.

Ornamental: Widely planted as a street and shade tree in Nairobi, Kenya, and as far as the coast.