Leguminosae Mim

Guild: np

Life form: large tree Max. height: 50 m (Voorhoeve 1965) Max. diameter: 180 cm (Voorhoeve 1965) Leaf: alternate, bipinnately compound, 16-60 alternate or subopposite pinnae, each with 48-100 opposite leaflets, linear, leptophyll (0.8-1.2 x 3-8 mm), entire; leaves of saplings and water shoots up to 30 cm long, with slightly larger leaflets Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, spike, up to 10 cm long

Flower: small; corolla yellow

Fruit: dry dehiscent, flat (2.5 x 25 cm), thin-woody, smooth, brown; up to 12 seeds

Seed: flat and winged, with wings 2.5 cm x 6 cm, seed in the middle

Other: a very distinctive spreading-crowned tree with smooth, orangeish bark and plank buttresses. The crown starts sub-spherical, develops two distinct layers, and the top layer develops by growing with a strong horizontal component as the lower crown layer dies. Ultimately, the upper crown starts to fragment and displays "crown-shyness", with gaps between parts of the crown becoming wider, until the tree dies. These patterns could be used to help define the maturity of the tree for use in silvicultural prescriptions. The leaflets fold up at sunset. Wood density is 0.7 g/cm3.

Distribution

Continent: Benin to Sudan, Angola (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Senegal to Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: upland evergreen forest, wet evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest, secondary forest (Hall & Swaine 1981). Ecologically important for many forests, because of its abundance and large crown.

Habitat

The abundance declines slightly with soil fertility (regression analysis). The tree prefers high rainfall areas and deep, moist, infertile soils (Voorhoeve 1965, Swaine 1996). It becomes a light demander to attain the canopy (Taylor 1960).

Regeneration

Germination is normal, and the seeds have short viability. It has a phanerocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965). In many areas, seedlings are very common, even in complete shade (shade is necessary in nursery beds). Saplings are not uncommon under small gaps. Young trees higher than 1.5 m of this species were strongly favoured by gaps (De Klerk 1991).The species tends to have a gap in its population structure at intermediate size classes, indicating that regeneration might be discontinuous. (Poorter et al. 1996, Newbery & Gartlan 1996). In Uganda, it regenerates best in colonising forest and clearings, and survives into older forest (Synnot 1985).

Growth

Three year old, shaded seedlings may be only 2035 cm tall, whereas in Tropical Shelterwood System plots 4 year old seedlings attain a height of 50-150 cm tall after 4 years (Taylor 1960). In Sierra Leone, mean annual increments of 4 cm over the first 20 years have been recorded (Savill & Fox 1967). Keay (1961) records fast growth in Nigeria, reaching 90 cm dbh in 71 years.

Phenology

Deciduousness: it is sometimes deciduous, and sometimes drops a lot, but not all of its leaves

(Hawthorne 1995a)

Dispersal: by wind (Taylor 1960)

Timing: flowering period from June to August; fruiting period from December to March (Voorhoeve 1965)

Uses

Locally used as timber. The bark is used for treating toothache (Voorhoeve 1965).

Data sources

Taylor (1960), Keay (1961), Voorhoeve (1965), Savill & Fox (1967), Hall & Swaine (1981), Synnot (1985), Offermans (1986), De Klerk (1991), Hawthorne (1995a), Newbery & Gartlan (1996), Poorter et al. (1996), Swaine (1996)

All sites

Altitude

Mean Annual Rainfall

Soil CMK

Soil WHC

>400m

Pycnanthus angolensis (Welw.) Warb.

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