Data sources

Taylor (1960), Voorhoeve (1965), Alexander (1989), Lock (1989)

Guarea cedrata (A.Chev.) Pellegr.



Guild: sb

Life form: large tree

Max. height: 40 m (Voorhoeve 1965)

Max. diameter: 100 cm above the buttresses

(Voorhoeve 1965)

Leaf: alternate, imparipinnately compound, 5-11 (sub)opposite leaflets, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong, mesophyll (2-9 x 4-28 cm), entire, often markedly undulate, coriaceous, young leaves first reddish with pale green nerves, later pale green, leaves of saplings much larger with larger leaflets Inflorescence: axillary, panicle (1.5-7 cm long) Flower: small; corolla pale yellow Fruit: dry dehiscent, subglobose (3.3 cm in diameter), 2-4 thick-coriaceous valves, densely pubescent, yellowish when ripe; 2-4 seeds Seed: rounded triangular, large (1.5 x 1.8 cm), completely enclosed by a bright red aril Other: a tree with a dark, compact crown, and sometimes with buttresses. Lenticels are present in vertical rows. The slash has a characteristic, strong, sweet cedar scent. Wood density is 0.6 g/cm3.


Continent: Benin to Uganda, Congo (Voorhoeve 1965)

Upper Guinea: Guinea to Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: upland evergreen forest, wet evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest (Hall & Swaine 1981). A Red List species (Vulnerable).


The species shows a bell-shaped response curve to rainfall; it increases with rainfall, to attains an optimum around 2000 mm/yr, and declines strongly above 2500 mm/yr (regression analysis). In Ghana it prefers areas with a high rainfall and infertile soils (Swaine 1996). In Liberia it is abundant in the evergreen forest on well-drained soils (Voorhoeve 1965). Locally often abundant as seedling in shade.


Germination is irregular and rather slow (averaging more than 5 weeks). Germination is not successful in full sunlight (Gilbert 1952), although Kyereh et al. (1993) report little difference between germination in the light and the dark. It has a phanerocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. De la Mensbruge 1966). The seedlings and saplings are common, even in the deepest shade. The seedlings are fairly drought sensitive (Swaine et al. 1997).


Height growth is slow at first (25-30 cm after year one), but older plants can make faster growth when exposed to sunlight. Taylor (1960) records 14 year old trees in plantations with diameters of 8-20 cm (7-15 m high), and annual height increments of up to 1 m in Tropical Shelterwood System plots. Seedlings realise highest growth rates around 10% irradiance (Swaine et al. 1997). Even the older trees grow best with a top shade, with 20 year old trees being of a same size to 12 year old unshaded trees (10-32 cm dbh in 22 years, MacKay 1953). In Nigeria, the mean annual basal area increment varied from 0.6 to 12.14 cm per 30 x 30 m PSP per annum (Bada 1989). The highest growth rates occurred in plots which were treated by canopy opening or similar effects. Keay (1961) estimated 168 years for trees to attain 90 cm dbh. Growth rings in this species are likely to be annual (Detienne & Mariaux 1977).


Deciduousness: evergreen (Voorhoeve 1965) Dispersal: by animals. The seeds are eaten by birds and monkeys, duikers and porcupines (Voorhoeve 1965).

Timing: flowering period in July; fruiting period from May to October (Voorhoeve 1965)


A timber species (Voorhoeve 1965).

Data sources

Gilbert (1952), MacKay (1953), Taylor (1960), Keay (1961), Voorhoeve (1965), De la Mensbruge (1966), Detienne & Mariaux (1977), Hall & Swaine (1981), Bada (1989), Kyereh et al. (1993), Hawthorne (1995a), Swaine (1996), Swaine et al. (1997), IUCN Red List (2000)

Guibourtia ehie (A.Chev.) J.LĂ©onard

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