African Mulberry

Scientific Name
Morus mesozygia Stapf ex A.Chev.
Higher Classification
Celtis lactea Sim, Morus lactea (Sim) Mildbr.
Common Names
African Mulberry (e), Afrikaanse Moerbei (a), Afrika-moerbei (a), Induli (z), Tongaland Mulberry (e)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Near Threatened* D2
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
This species has a very localized distribution in South Africa (national EOO 977 km², 2-3 locations), but is widespread and common elsewhere in Africa. The local population is potentially threatened by habitat degradation and harvesting, but the national status is downgraded following regional assessment procedures.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
In South Africa this species is restricted to a small area in Maputaland, northern KwaZulu-Natal. It is widespread further north to tropical Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Sand Forest, Northern Coastal Forest
Coastal forests.
This tree has a good, fine wood, suitable for construction materials. The fruit, similar to the common cultivated mulberry, is edible (Boon 2010). It is best known from the Manguzi area west of Kosi Bay, where its habitat persists in and around the town in spite of extensive development and spread of the settlement, but the condition of the small forest patches is not known.

This species is known from two, possibly three subpopulations in South Africa. In spite of extensive degradation of the coastal plain outside protected areas, the habitat does not appear to be declining. The population is continuous into southern Mozambique, but the status and trends of the population in Mozambique is not known. It however has a very wide global range, and the global population is not suspected to be threatened.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Morus mesozygia Stapf ex A.Chev.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Morus mesozygia Stapf ex A.Chev.Not Threatened Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Morus mesozygia Stapf ex A.Chev.Rare Hall et al. (1980)

Berg, C.C. 1991. Moraceae. In: E. Launert and G.V. Pope (eds). Flora Zambesiaca 9 (Part 6):13-76. Flora Zambesiaca Managing Committee, London.

Boon, R. 2010. Pooley's Trees of eastern South Africa. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

von Staden, L. 2018. Morus mesozygia Stapf ex A.Chev. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2023/12/08

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Distribution map

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