Newtonia buchananii

Invasive species Disclaimer

In view of the fact that some tree species are invasive, the world Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has put in place a policy document on Invasive Alien Species, currently under draft available at Here.

For more information on this subject, please refer to
100 of the World's worst Invasive and Alien Species.

Species Index    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Multiple Criteria Search

Abelmoschus moschatus
Acacia aneura
Acacia angustissima
Acacia aulacocarpa
Acacia auriculiformis
Acacia catechu
Acacia cincinnata
Acacia crassicarpa
Acacia elatior
Acacia erioloba
Acacia etbaica
Acacia ferruginea
Acacia glauca
Acacia holosericea
Acacia karroo*
Acacia koa
Acacia laeta
Acacia lahai
Acacia leptocarpa
Acacia leucophloea
Acacia mangium
Acacia mearnsii*
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia mellifera
Acacia nilotica subsp nilotica
Acacia pachycarpa
Acacia pennatula
Acacia polyacantha ssp. polyacantha
Acacia saligna
Acacia senegal
Acacia seyal
Acacia sieberiana
Acacia tortilis
Acacia xanthophloea
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Adansonia digitata
Adenanthera pavonina
Aegle marmelos
Afzelia africana
Afzelia quanzensis
Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
Aleurites moluccana
Allanblackia floribunda
Allanblackia stuhlmannii
Allanblackia ulugurensis
Alnus acuminata
Alnus cordata
Alnus japonica
Alnus nepalensis
Alnus rubra
Alphitonia zizyphoides
Alstonia boonei
Alstonia congensis
Alstonia scholaris
Altingia excelsa
Anacardium occidentale
Andira inermis
Annona cherimola
Annona muricata
Annona reticulata
Annona senegalensis
Annona squamosa
Anogeissus latifolia
Anthocephalus cadamba
Antiaris toxicaria
Antidesma bunius
Araucaria bidwillii
Araucaria cunninghamii
Arbutus unedo
Areca catechu
Arenga pinnata
Argania spinosa
Artemisia annua
Artocarpus altilis
Artocarpus camansi
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Artocarpus integer
Artocarpus lakoocha
Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
Ateleia herbert-smithii
Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
Averrhoa carambola
Azadirachta excelsa
Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana
Related Links
Common tree of Ngangao forest, Taita Hills.
© Gerard D. Hertel, West Chester University,

Local names:
English (newtonia,forest newtonia), Luganda (mpewere), Swahili (mnyasa), Trade name (mufomoti)

Newtonia buchananii is a tall deciduous tree 10-40 m high, with a rather flat crown. The tree trunk is often short but can be extremely high in forest valleys, with strongly fluted buttresses. Bark is smooth and light grey. Branchlets with rust-brown hairs.

Leaves bipinnate, leaflets numerous (24-)38-67 pairs, linear or falcate 2-9 mm long, tiny and light green when young. Leaf rachis with a stipitate tiny gland between each pinna-pair.

Inflorescences in erect cream spikes fading to brown, 3-18 cm long. Flowers sessile or nearly so, anthers with an apical gland that soon falls off, ovary densely pilose outside.

Pods brown, 1.3-2.5 cm, thin 15-30 cm long, splitting open on one side. Seeds lying longitudinally in the pod, seeds flat, distinctive red-brown, to 4-7 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, surrounded by a membranous wing.

The generic and specific epithets are honorary for Sir Isaac Newton, the famous English scientist, and Buchanan, a botanical collector and Vice Consul in Malawi from 1877-1890.


N. buchananii is common in lowland and upland rain forest, usually near streams, ground water, or as a component of riverine, mist or swamp forest.

Native range
Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Tree management

N. buchananii is a fairly fast growing tree once established, but needs care during the establishment phase.

Germination percentage rates are up to 90% in 20-30 days. There are 3 000-13 000 seeds/ kg. No pretreatment is necessary. However the seeds remain viable for only a few weeks at room temperature storage. Pods should be collected from the tree crown immediately they turn brown, then dried before seed extraction. Direct sowing does not appear to be a suitable method for regenerating N. buchananii: survival (26%) and growth were slow in trials at Amani, Tanzania.

N. buchananii is common in lowland and upland rain forest, usually near streams, ground water, or as a component of riverine, mist or swamp forest.

The main propagation methods are direct seeding, root suckers and wildlings.

Erosion control:  The tree protects riverine soil from erosion.

The foliage and pods are eaten by livestock and can be gathered as fodder.

Apiculture: N. buchananii is a good source of nectar and pollen for bees.

A good source of quality firewood.

Timber:  The brown to red-brown hardwood is durable in water and thus a favourite for boat/ canoe building. Poles from the tree are used in house construction.

Shade or shelter:  The tree’s crown gives light shade.

Gum or resin:  A yellow-brown resin exudes from the bark when cut.

Ornamental:  N. buchananii has a graceful form, flat topped and tall, making an ideal choice for gardens, parks and homes.

Poles are used for fencing.

Soil improver:  The leaves are used in agriculture as mulch.

Intercropping:  N. buchananii’s crown gives light shade, which may not injuriously affect other crops in agroforestry systems.