Combretaceae

Guild: pi

Life form: large tree Max. height: 45 m (Voorhoeve 1965) Max. diameter: 150 cm (Voorhoeve 1965) Leaf: alternate in tufts at the end of the branchlets, simple, obovate, notophyll (2.5-7 x 6-12 cm), entire, fairly coriaceous, medium-green Inflorescence: axillary, not branched (7-15 cm long) Flower: small

Fruit: dry indehiscent, winged (2 x 5.5 cm), golden-brown, glabrous; 1 seed Seed: rounded-triangular on cross-section, large (0.7 x 1.5 cm), winged Other: it has strongly whorled boughs and clustered leaves as a consequence of markedly rhythmic growth. It has steep buttresses (up to 3.5 m) when fully grown. Wood density is 0.48 g/cm3.

Distribution

Continent: Benin to Angola (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Guinea to Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest, secondary forest (Voorhoeve 1965, Hall & Swaine 1981). It tends to occur in disturbed or drier forests across West and Central Africa (Caballe 1978).

Habitat

It is a strong light demander, most common in disturbed habitats, exploited forests (Lancaster 1961, Hawthorne 1993), in farmlands and along roads (Taylor 1960). It is not very demanding on soil and water conditions (Taylor 1960). It is most abundant at intermediate altitudes (200-300 m) and intermediate soil fertility. The abundance declines with rainfall (regression analysis). It shows no preference for wet or dry (base-poor or base-rich)

soils, in Ghana (Swaine & Veenendaal 1994). Optimum growth occurs at a pH of 5.9-6.1, and there is a beneficial effect of liming soils (Aluko 1990). However, it is markedly site-sensitive, in southwest Nigeria (Lowe 1973).

Regeneration

Germination is, as with T. ivorensis, subject to some dormancy. There is no difference between % germination in the light and in the dark (Kyereh et al. 1993). New seedlings appear at the start of the April-May rainy season, shortly after dispersal, but also during the second peak of rains in October-November, suggesting dormancy between these batches (Taylor 1960). It has a phanerocotyal epigeal foliaceous seedling type (cf. De la Mensbruge 1966). Young plants are found in the shade (Taylor 1960) and are somewhat shade tolerant (MacGregor 1934). Seedlings and saplings are abundant along roads and in medium-sized to large gaps. Widely used as a plantation species (e.g. Groulez 1961).

Growth

It has a regular bole diameter increment, but periodic growth of crown components (Fay & Fay

1992). Growth at 22°C is continuous, but periodic at 27°C (Maillard et al. 1987, Kwesiga & Grace 1986). Records have been made of about 1.5 m to 3 m height increment in 4 years (Taylor 1960). Trees can attain 14 m height (22 cm dbh) on old logging tracks 4 years after logging (Hawthorne

Phenology

Deciduousness: deciduous (Voorhoeve 1965) Dispersal: by wind (Voorhoeve 1965)

Timing: flowering period from February to April; fruiting period from December to February (Voorhoeve 1965)

Uses

It is a timber species (Voorhoeve 1965). Large plantations have been made (Groulez & Wood 1985).

Data sources

MacGregor (1934), Taylor (1960), Groulez (1961), Lancaster (1961), Voorhoeve (1965), De la Mensbruge (1966), Lowe (1973), Caballe (1978), Hall & Swaine (1981), Groulez & Wood (1985), Kwesiga & Grace (1986), Maillard et al. (1987), Aluko (1990), Fay & Fay (1992), Hawthorne (1993, 1995a), Kyereh et al. (1993), Kyereh (1994), Swaine & Veenendaal (1994)

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