Tree Species of Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park, nestled in the southwestern region of Uganda, is a bio diverse haven known for its rich and varied vegetation, including a diverse array of tree species.
Spanning over vast savannah grasslands, lush forests, and enchanting wetlands, the park boasts a mosaic of habitats that support an abundance of plant life. Towering trees stand as sentinels, forming intricate canopies that provide shelter, nourishment, and sustenance for a multitude of wildlife.
Among the park’s vegetation, iconic tree species like Acacia albida, Ficus natalensis, Terminalia superba, Albizia coriaria, and Combretum molle, thrive and play vital roles in the park’s ecosystem. These trees have evolved over time, adapting to the seasonal rhythms and climatic conditions, thus becoming an integral part of the park’s ecological balance.
Beyond the grandeur of the landscape, each tree species contributes uniquely to the web of life within the park. Some bear succulent fruits that serve as a vital food source for elephants, primates, and an array of bird species, while others provide secure nesting sites for countless avian inhabitants.
Furthermore, the trees’ roots interweave with the soil, stabilizing the land, and enabling it to withstand the seasonal floods that refresh the park’s verdant expanses.
As visitors wander through the untamed beauty of Queen Elizabeth National Park, they encounter these majestic tree species, each one a testament to the enduring resilience of nature. With their delicate blossoms, vibrant fruits, and protective canopies, these trees create a symphony of life that echoes throughout the park, reminding us of the intricate and delicate interdependence between flora and fauna.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is not merely a sanctuary for wildlife; it is a living testament to the harmonious coexistence between vegetation and animals, where the timeless dance of life continues to unfold.
Preserving and nurturing this diverse range of tree species is crucial to maintaining the ecological integrity of the park and safeguarding its splendour for generations to come.
Acacia species (e.g., Acacia albida, Acacia hockii)
- Acacia species are prominent in many African landscapes, including Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Two specific Acacia species found in the park are:
- Acacia albida: Also known as the White Acacia or Apple-ring Acacia, this tree is notable for its distinctive white bark and the presence of circular growth rings on its trunk. It is a deciduous tree and often found near water sources, as it is well-adapted to withstand seasonal flooding.
- Acacia hockii: Commonly known as the Hock’s Acacia, this species is a thorny, small to medium-sized tree. It typically grows in savannah and woodland areas, providing habitat and food sources for various wildlife.
Both of these Acacia species play essential roles in the ecosystem of Queen Elizabeth National Park. They provide food and shelter for animals, contribute to soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, and are crucial components of the park’s savannah and woodland habitats.
Ficus species (e.g., Ficus natalensis, Ficus exasperata)
Ficus species are another group of trees commonly found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Ficus trees, also known as fig trees, belong to the Moraceae family and are distributed widely throughout tropical and subtropical regions. Two specific Ficus species found in the park are:
Also called the Natal fig, this species is a large and impressive tree. It is characterized by its spreading crown and extensive aerial roots, which often create a unique and captivating appearance. Ficus natalensis is ecologically important as it provides food and shelter for various animals, including birds, mammals, and insects.
Commonly known as the Sandpaper fig, this tree is distinguishable by its rough, sandpapery leaves. It is a medium-sized tree and often found in woodland and savannah areas. Like other Ficus species, Ficus exasperata plays a vital role in the ecosystem, providing sustenance and habitat for wildlife.
Ficus species are significant components of the vegetation in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Their presence contributes to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the park’s diverse habitats, supporting a wide range of animals and insects that depend on them for food and shelter.
Terminalia species (e.g., Terminalia superba, Terminalia brownii)
Terminalia species are also part of the rich vegetation found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The Terminalia genus belongs to the Combretaceae family and includes several tree species.
Two specific Terminalia species found in the park are:
Also known as the Limba or African limba, this species is a large hardwood tree. It typically grows in moist forests and is valued for its timber, which is used in various applications, including furniture and construction.
Commonly called the Brown’s Terminalia or the Silver Terminalia, this species is a medium to large-sized tree. It is recognized by its silvery-grey bark and is often found in woodland areas and along riverbanks.
Terminalia species are ecologically important components of the park’s vegetation. They contribute to the overall biodiversity, provide habitat for wildlife, and offer valuable resources to local communities through timber and other traditional uses.
As part of the Combretaceae family, Terminalia trees also play a role in ecological processes such as seed dispersal, which helps maintain the park’s ecosystem balance.
Albizia species (e.g., Albizia coriaria, Albizia gummifera)
Albizia species are also present in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The Albizia genus is part of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) family and includes various tree species. Two specific Albizia species found in the park are:
Also known as the Flat-crown Albizia or Pod Mahogany, this species is a medium to large-sized tree. It is characterized by its flat-topped crown and is commonly found in woodland and savannah habitats. The tree provides food and shelter for various animals, including primates and birds.
Commonly called the Gummy Albizia, this species is a medium-sized tree. It is distinguished by its gum-secreting properties and is often found in woodland and riverine areas.
Albizia species contribute to the park’s diverse flora and play an essential role in the ecosystem. They provide valuable resources to wildlife, support biodiversity, and contribute to soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, enriching the soil with essential nutrients. Additionally, some Albizia species have traditional uses in local communities for various purposes, such as medicine and woodcraft.
Combretum species (e.g., Combretum molle, Combretum collinum)
Combretum species are part of the diverse vegetation found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The Combretum genus belongs to the Combretaceae family and comprises various tree and shrub species. Two specific Combretum species found in the park are:
Also known as the Velvet Bushwillow or River Bushwillow, this species is a medium to large-sized tree. It is characterized by its velvety, hairy leaves and is often found along riverbanks and in woodland areas.
Commonly called the Forest Bushwillow, this species is a small to medium-sized tree. It is typically found in forested areas and contributes to the park’s woodland habitats.
Combretum species are ecologically significant in the park’s ecosystem. They provide food and shelter for various wildlife, including birds and insects.
Additionally, these trees are valuable in traditional medicine and may have other uses in local communities. The presence of Combretum species enriches the overall biodiversity and ecological balance of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Vitex species (e.g., Vitex doniana, Vitex madiensis)
Vitex species are also among the vegetation found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The Vitex genus belongs to the Lamiaceae family and includes several tree and shrub species. Two specific Vitex species found in the park are:
Vitex doniana: Also known as the African black plum or Mubobo in the local language, this species is a small to medium-sized tree. It produces edible fruits that are consumed by various animals, including primates and birds. In addition to its ecological importance, Vitex doniana has cultural significance and is used in traditional medicine by local communities.
Vitex madiensis: Commonly called the West Indian teak or Green teak, this species is a medium to large-sized tree. It is known for its durable timber, which has been used for various purposes, including construction and furniture making.
Vitex species play an essential role in the park’s ecosystem, contributing to the food web by providing fruits for animals and supporting various insects. Additionally, the traditional uses of these trees by local communities highlight their cultural significance and importance in traditional medicine and livelihoods.
Markhamia species (e.g., Markhamia lutea, Markhamia platycalyx)
Markhamia species are also part of the vegetation found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The Markhamia genus belongs to the Bignoniaceae family and includes several tree species. Two specific Markhamia species found in the park are:
Markhamia lutea: Also known as the Yellow-bell, this species is a medium to large-sized tree. It is characterized by its bright yellow flowers and is often found in woodland and savannah areas. Markhamia lutea provides nectar and pollen to various pollinators, including bees and butterflies.
Markhamia platycalyx: Commonly called the White-margined Red Bean, this species is a medium-sized tree. It is known for its distinctive red flowers with white margins and is typically found in forested areas.
Markhamia species contribute to the park’s diverse flora and provide important resources to wildlife. Their flowers attract pollinators, and their seeds may serve as a food source for certain animals. These trees are also valued for their ornamental qualities and may have cultural significance in some communities.
Milicia species (e.g., Milicia excelsa)
Milicia excelsa, also known as African teak or Iroko, is one of the notable tree species found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Milicia excelsa belongs to the Moraceae family and is a large hardwood tree that can reach impressive heights.
African teak (Milicia excelsa) is highly valued for its durable and attractive timber, which has various applications in construction, furniture making, and boat building. Due to its commercial importance, African teak has been extensively harvested, making it a species of conservation concern.
In Queen Elizabeth National Park, African teak plays a crucial ecological role by providing habitat for wildlife and contributing to the overall biodiversity of the area. Preserving and managing the sustainable use of this species is essential for maintaining the health and balance of the park’s ecosystem. Conservation efforts are in place to protect and sustainably manage the populations of Milicia excelsa and other tree species in the par
Maesopsis eminii (African mahogany)
Maesopsis eminii, commonly known as African mahogany or Munywesso, is another significant tree species found in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. African mahogany belongs to the family Rhamnaceae and is a large hardwood tree with valuable timber.
African mahogany is prized for its high-quality wood, which is used in various applications, including furniture, cabinetry, and interior finishing. Due to its economic value, this species has been subject to logging and deforestation, making conservation efforts crucial to protect its populations in the wild.
In the park, African mahogany contributes to the biodiversity and ecological balance by providing habitat for wildlife and supporting various ecological processes. Its large canopy and presence in the forested areas add to the overall richness of the park’s vegetation.
As with other important tree species in Queen Elizabeth National Park, sustainable management and conservation measures are essential to ensure the continued existence and health of African mahogany populations in the park and the surrounding areas.