Leguminosae Mim


Guild: sb

Life form: large tree

Max. height: 33 m (Voorhoeve 1965)

Max. diameter: 90 cm (Voorhoeve 1965)

Leaf: alternate, bipinnately compound with 4-8

opposite pinnae, each pinna with 6-10 opposite leaflets, elliptic to ovate, microphyll (0.4-4 x 1.5-7

cm), entire, with or without glands between the pinnae; petiole and rachea hairy

Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, unbranched

(spike, erect, up to 10 cm long), above the foliage

Flower: small; corolla creamy

Fruit: dry dehiscent, linear-oblong (22 x 13 x 3

cm), thin-woody, opening along one edge

Seed: thin, flat, very large (including wing 1.5 x 8

cm), bright red-brown, winged

Other: it has narrow steep buttresses sometimes extending in spreading surface roots. The crown is fairly small and open. The slash exudes a yellow exudate.


Continent: Upper Guinea endemic

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


Distribution type: continuous, widespread, present in 17 30' cells, distribution range is 1162 km. Subspecies aubrevillei, rare in Ghana, and Upper Guinea endemic; but the species as a whole (inc. subsp. lasiantha) scattered through Guineo-Congolian region (Lock 1989). Forest type: wet evergreen forest, rainforest, riverine forest, secondary forest


Species occurrence increases with rainfall to reach an optimum around 2900 mm/yr (logistic regression analysis, Chi2 test). It is found in mature rainforests. Often on sandy soils (herbarium).


It has a cryptocotylar hypogeal reserve seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965).


Dispersal: by wind

Timing: flowering period from August to September; fruiting period from December to January


The inner bark is used as an aphrodisiac (Voorhoeve 1965).

Data sources

FWTA, Brenan & Brummitt (1965), Voorhoeve (1965), Lock (1989), Hawthorne & Jongkind (2004)

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