Myrianthus arboreus

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

Local names:
English (giant yellow mulberry,corkwood)

Myrianthus arboreus is a dioecious tropical tree up to 15 m high with spreading branches from a short stem. Usually has stilt roots. Trunk short, dividing into a spreading crown. 

Leaves very large, alternately shaped, 5-7 digitately compound, coarsely toothed, with hood like stipules the central leaflet is about 25 x 9 cm. Young leaves are usually red in colour.

Male inflorescences yellow, much branched and panicle like are produced in large axillary pairs in the latter part of the dry season. The female inflorescences are paired, stalked greenish clusters (pedunculate), each flower with a thick curled style projecting out of the fused calyx, and a basal ovule.

Fruit a syncarp of basally fused, yellow false drupes up to 10 cm, with stylar remains projecting from each drupe.

The generic name Myrianthus refers to the great number of flowers borne on the inflorescences, the specific name means ‘tree like’. Some authors place the genera Myrianthus and Musanga in a separate family, Cecropiaceae.


M. arboreus is found in forest and damp places.

Native range
Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

M. arboreus is found in forest and damp places.

Propagation is by direct seeding.

Poison:  M. arboreus extracts deter the termite R. lucifugus.

Can be planted in damp/ swampy soils.

  The sweet pulp around the seeds is edible and the young leaves are eaten as a vegetable.

Timber:  The wood may be used for general purposes.

Medicine: M. arboreus has various medicinal uses in Africa, including the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea with bark infusions. Seeds are used for boils. The bark decoction is adminstered for diabetes. Other medicinal uses are for headaches, swellings and tumours. 

Nitrogen fixing:  Has the ability to improve nitrogen levels due to its mycorrhizal associations.

Soil improver:  Leaf litter of M. arboreus improves soil fertility.