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Pieters (1958), Sawyerr (1960), Taylor (1960), Keay (1961), Voorhoeve (1965), De la Mensbruge (1966), Detienne & Mariaux (1977), Hall & Swaine (1981), De Klerk (1991), Hawthorne (1995a), IUCN Red List (2000)

Entandrophragma utile (Dawe & Sprague ) Sprague


Guild: np

Life form: large tree

Max. height: 60 m (Voorhoeve 1965)

Max. diameter: 250 cm (Voorhoeve 1965)

Leaf: plnnately compound, 16-26 opposite or alternate leaflets, ovate to oblong, notophyll (2-5.5 x

5-12 cm), entire, thinly coriaceous, glossy, medium green above

Inflorescence: a long and slender panicle Flower: small; corolla white Fruit: dry dehiscent, club-shaped (6 x 23 cm), opening from the top with 5 hardly recurving straight valves, black with brown warty lenticels, woody; 2030 seeds

Seed: (8-10 cm long) including the wing, medium to dark brown

Other: a tree with very clustered leaves at the tips of stout twigs. It has heavy buttresses, up to 3 m. Wood density is 0.62 g/cm3.


Continent: Benin to Uganda, Angola (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Guinea to Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: upland evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest. A Red List species (Vulnerable).


Entandrophragma spp. attain as a group a maximal abundance at intermediate rainfall conditions (1800 mm/yr). Their abundance declines strongly above 2300 mm/yr. Their abundance is positively related to soil fertility and soil water holding capacity (regression analysis). Alexandre (1982b) refers to E. utile as the most light-demanding of the Entandrophragmas. It seems to be more drought-tolerant than others in the genus (Abu Juam Musah, pers. comm.). Avoids marshy sites, well-drained, deep soils seem to be preferred (Voorhoeve 1965).


There is little difference between germination in the light and in the dark (Kyereh et al. 1993). Germination is strongly depressed in large gaps (Kyereh et al. 1993). Soaking followed by a dry period did not allow germination, whereas repeated soaking, signalling more reliably the onset of the rainy season, did (Synnot 1975). Seed viability was found to be adequate to carry the seeds from dispersal to the onset of the rains. It has a cryptocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. De la Mensbruge 1966). Synott (1975) records high mortality, and seasonal variation due to rodent and antelope predation, with mortality at 1.44% per day for the first 100 days, and a slight decline thereafter. Insect damage, particularly by the shoot-borer Hypsipyla, was also high. In areas where predation was least, mortality due to drought and disease was high. After 2.5 years only 1.3% of planting seedlings survived for these reasons. The seedlings may be more inclined to suffer from sudden changes in exposure to the sun than other species (Taylor 1960). The seedlings are physiologically well-suited to the deep shade of the forest floor, and the healthiest seedlings were under at least some shade (Synnot 1975). Unshaded seedlings died. Nevertheless, in natural forest, light availability was found to be the biggest limitation on seedling growth. Seedling growth is maximal around 25% irradiance (Swaine et al. 1997). Root competition was not considered an important limiting factor, nor were nutrient levels in the forest.


Seedling growth is slow because the roots develop slowly. Seedlings become infested with mites and other insects in nurseries, unless they are shaded

(Sawyerr 1960). Seedlings, up to 40 cm tall are locally abundant, both in the shade and in slightly disturbed patches. However, it tends to suffer higher mortality and is a slower grower than E. angolense, growing about 1 m or less in 4 years in Tropical Shelterwood System plots (Taylor 1960). It can reach about 1.5 m in height in 4 years in sil-viculturally treated forest (Taylor 1960). Growth rings are likely to be annual (Detienne & Mariaux 1977).


Deciduousness: deciduous (Voorhoeve 1965) Dispersal: by wind (Voorhoeve 1965) Timing: flowering period from January to February (Voorhoeve 1965); fruiting period from December to March

Data sources

Sawyerr (1960), Taylor (1960), Voorhoeve (1965), De la Mensbruge (1966), Synott (1975), Detienne & Mariaux (1977), Hall & Swaine (1981), Alexandre (1982b), De Klerk (1991), Kyereh et al. (1993), Kyereh (1994), Hawthorne (1995a), Swaine et al. (1997), IUCN Red List (2000).

Erythrophleum ivorense



The abundance of Erythrophleum spp. as a group declines with soil fertility (regression analysis).



Guild: np

Life form: large tree Max. height: 40 m (Voorhoeve 1965) Max. diameter: 120 cm (Voorhoeve 1965) Leaf: bipinnately compound, 4-8 opposite pinnae with 8-14 alternate leaflets, elliptic, microphyll (1.5-4 x 2.5-8.5 cm), glossy dark green Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, not branched, densely flowered

Flower: small; calyx yellowish green; corolla yellow Fruit: dry dehiscent (4 x 7.5 cm), thick-coriaceous, greyish black, 2-6 seeds Seed: large (0.5 x 0.9 x 1.3 cm), shiny black Other: a rather twisted, unbuttressed and low-branched tree. Sometimes far spreading surface roots are present. The bark has corky, 2-10 mm wide, horizontal lenticels. The slash of young trees is purplish pink-brown, with some milky sap in the wound. The slash of old trees is red-brown with a purplish gleam, exuding a red, sticky sap. Wood density is 0.87 g/cm3.


Continent: Benin to Gabon (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: wet evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, high forest, secondary forest


The abundance of Erythrophleum spp. as a group declines with soil fertility (regression analysis).

It has a phanerocotylar epigeal foliaceous seedling type (cv. Voorhoeve 1965). There is little regeneration (Taylor 1960).

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