Dichapetalaceae

Description

Guild: np

Life form: large winding woody climber Max height: 100 m long (herbarium) Max. diameter: 12 cm (herbarium, Breteler 1982) Leaf: alternate, simple, elliptic, mesophyll (2-10 x 5-25 cm), entire, coriaceous, with distinct extrafloral nectaries usually on both sides Inflorescence: axillary, sub-umbellate Flower: small; corolla white, bowl-shaped; peduncle usually fused with petiole; perfumed Fruit: fleshy (3 x 2 cm), juicy, yellow to orange; 1-3 seeds

Seed: large (1.8 x 1 cm) Other: it has a shrub habit when young or when growing in thickets. It has a characteristic deeply 5-lobed woody cylinder and is sparsely branched.

Distribution

Continent: Upper Guinea endemic Upper Guinea: Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana Distribution type: continuous, widespread, present in 52 30' cells, distribution range is 1594 km Forest type: wet evergreen, moist evergreen, riverine forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, secondary

forest (herbarium). In Ghana, most common in wet and moist evergreen forests (Hall & Swaine 1981).

Habitat

Species occurrence increases at lower altitudes (logistic regression analysis) and with increasing rainfall to reach a wide optimum range between 2000-3000 mm/yr (logistic regression analysis, Chi2 test). It grows in a wide range of conditions such as dense forests, forests actively exploited for timber, village forests, disturbed areas, and roadsides. It is usually found in moist places (e.g. river borders and banks). It can grow on a range of soil types (e.g. lateritic, sandy clay, stony sand, and sand). In Ghana, it is highly correlated with base-poor soils (Hall & Swaine 1981).

Regeneration

It has a hypogeal germination, cotyledons remain enclosed in the endocarp (Breteler 1982), and it regenerates in shade (Hall & Swaine 1981).

Phenology

Dispersal: probably by animals

Dispersal: probably by animals

Uses

The sprouts, fruits and seeds contain the toxic compound monofluoroacetate, and are very poisonous (Breteler 1982, Hall & Swaine 1981).

Data sources

Breteler (1973, 1982), Hall & Swaine (1981)

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