Where Mpingo Grows

Mpingo grows in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa; from Senegal in the west, to Ethiopia in the north, to South Africa in the south (see map). It has even been introduced to the Indian sub-continent. However it is only in East Africa that it grows in sufficient quantities to be a significant commercial prospect; Tanzania and Mozambique are the two principle source countries.

Mpingo can tolerate a wide range of conditions which contributes to its broad geographical range; it occurs in at least seven of the eight major floristic zones in Tanzania, and is found at elevations from sea-level to 1300m. The species occurs across the transition from bushland to woodland, and can grow in soils which vary from sandy to clay-like. The mean maximum temperature in its range is 35ºC and the minimum is 18ºC with no frost.

The two most significant habitats for mpingo are the Miombo Woodlands which stretch across large swathes of East and Southern Africa, and the Coastal Forests, an extremely important region in terms of global biodiversity. Both habitats are under threat from multiple threats leading to fragmentation and general degradation.