Landolphia delagoensis (DewÃ¨vre) Pierre
Landolphia dondeensis Busse
Landolphia polyantha K.Schum.
Vahea kirkii (Dyer ex Hook.f.) Sadeb.
Landolphia kirkii is an evergreen, straggling or climbing shrub, either scrambling across the ground or climbing into other plants and attaching itself by means of tendrils[
]. It can produce stems up to 18 metres long, and in exceptional cases up to 30 metres long[
The plant is harvested from the wild for its fruit, which is consumed locally[
]. This species was at one time the major rubber plant in east Africa, with the latex being exported to Europe[
]. However, with the rise in cultivation of Hevea brasiliensis, this species was no longer valued and its exploitation fell into decline. Nowadays the latex is only used locally.
Eastern Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo, S. Africa.
A strong climber in forest, at forest edges and in Brachystegia bushland, miombo woodlands on plateaux and wet valleys[
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A plant of subtropical to tropical areas, where it is usually found growing in moister areas[
Fruit - raw[
]. A juicy pulp, it is sweet with a slightly acid flavour[
]. They are popular with those in the know, but their tartness can put off the uninitiated[
]. The rounded to oval, dull green but spotted, fruit is a many-seeded berry with a hard skin up to 15cm in diameter[
A good quality latex, suitable for making into rubber, is obtained from the stems[
]. It is only used locally[
]. The latex can be coagulated with sea water or with lime juice[
The flexible stems can be used as rope[
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