Leguminosae Caes


Guild: sb

Life form: large tree

Max. height: 65 m (herbarium)

Max. diameter: 100 cm (herbarium)

Leaf: alternate, imparipinnately compound, up to

5 alternate leaflets, obovate, notophyll (2-5 x 4-11

cm), recurved, herbaceous, glabrous

Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, branched

Flower: small; creamy-white

Fruit: fleshy (2 x 1.5 cm), black with an orange, sweet tasting pulp; 1-2 seeds

Seed: medium-sized (0.9 x 0.7 x 0.3 cm), glossy brown

Other: the bole is often slightly fluted, usually with large high buttresses. The bark has large plate scales and the slash exudes a red latex. The tree has a very small, half-globular crown.



Continent: Upper Guinea endemic

Upper Guinea: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire,


Distribution type: continuous, widespread, present in 32 30' cells, distribution range is 1204 km Forest type: upland evergreen forest, wet evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, secondary forest. In Ghana, the species is most common in evergreen forests (Hall & Swaine 1981).


More often present where rainfall is between 15002000 mm/yr (Chi2 test). It is usually found on uplands (Chi2 test): mostly on hills, less frequent in valleys, and avoiding swamps (Taylor 1960). In Ghana, it is very significantly associated with base-poor acid soils of high clay content (Hall & Swaine 1981). Reported also on slopes with rocky eroded soils (herbarium).

It has a phanerocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965) and regenerates in shade (Hall & Swaine 1981). Seedlings and saplings are common in deep shade in the vicinity of parental trees. Regeneration is higher in "undisturbed" forest than in logged forest (Hawthorne 1995a).


Deciduousness: evergreen Dispersal: probably dispersed by animals (Hawthorne 1995a), fruits are eaten by monkeys (herbarium)

Timing: fruiting period around the end of the dry season (Hawthorne 1995a)


The timber is very hard and not used (Hall & Swaine 1981).

Data sources

Taylor (1960), Voorhoeve (1965), Hall & Swaine (1981), Hawthorne (1995a), Hawthorne & Jongkind (2004)

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