Life form: large tree
Max. height: 40 m (Voorhoeve 1965)
Max. diameter: 120 cm (Voorhoeve 1965)
Leaf: alternate, bipinnately compound, 32-40
opposite pinnae, each with 56-100 opposite leaflets, narrowly oblong, leptophyll (0.1-0.2 x 0.5-1
cm), entire, glabrescent, leaves of saplings as a rule with less pinnae and less leaflets, but leaflets larger, (up to 0.3 x 1.5 cm)
Inflorescence: a pendent peduncle
Flower: small; corolla pink to red
Fruit: dry indehiscent, strap-shaped (1.8 x 30 cm), first orange to yellow, purplish black when ripe; up to 20 seeds
Seed: flat, imbedded in a yellowish, mealy pulp Other: a buttressed tree with a large, spreading crown. The new leaves are copper-coloured. Wood density is 0.55 g/cm3.
Continent: West Africa, south of the Sahara and Central Africa (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana (herbarium) Forest type: upland evergreen forest, wet evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest, secondary forest.
In its early youth it is tolerant of moderate shade, but it is essentially a light demander (Taylor 1960). Mature trees, although found as emergents in a wide variety of sites, show some preference for wet areas, like riverbanks (Hawthorne 1995a).
Germination is normal. It has a phanerocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965). Although seedlings are found in the shade, particularly in the vicinity of parent trees, saplings are soon restricted to more exposed sites.
It can attain a height growth of about 1 m in the first year (Taylor 1960).
Deciduousness: deciduous after the rainy season (Voorhoeve 1965)
Dispersal: probably by mammals (Hawthorne 1995a) Timing: flowering period from December to February; fruiting period from February to April (Voorhoeve 1965)
A timber species. The fresh seeds are used for fishing bait (Voorhoeve 1965).
Taylor (1960), Voorhoeve (1965), Hall & Swaine (1981), Hopkins (1983), Hawthorne (1995a)
elata (Harms) Van Meeuwen
Life form: large tree
Max. height: 45 m (Taylor 1960)
Max. diameter: 128 cm (inventory data Ghana)
Leaf: alternate, imparipinnately compound, 9
leaflets, oblong to lanceolate (2.5 x 6.5 cm), entire
Flower: medium-sized; corolla white
Fruit: dry indehiscent (2.5 x 12 cm), light brown;
Seed: flat, large (1.3 cm in diameter) Other: a tree, with spreading branches, graceful foliage and a rather flat-topped, triangular crown. The bole is characterised by small, red patches. It has high or no buttresses merging into slight flutes. It has nitrogen-fixing nodules. Wood density is 0.79 g/cm3.
Continent: Nigeria, Cameroon, Democratic
Republic of Congo
Upper Guinea: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana
Forest type: moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest. A timber tree once common in Brong Ahafo (Hawthorne 1995a), now threatened due to excessive logging. A Red List species
Seedlings are remarkably drought-tolerant and show little preference between wet and dry forest soils (Swaine & Veenendaal 1994).
Germination is normal, or rather rapid (8 days, Taylor 1960). No difference was found between germination in the light and in the dark (Kyereh et al. 1993). Germination is equally successful in large gaps (Kyereh 1994). Taylor (1960) dismisses the control of regeneration by light as a limiting factor, and does not consider insect damage important. Germination was more than 80% successful in a variety of shaded treatments, but barely 5% successful in full sunlight (Pieters 1958). Out of 7, 18 and 100% of full light, seedlings prefer the middle, equivalent to forest with numerous canopy gaps (Ampofo & Lawson 1972). The ideal sites for seedling growth are where they receive full morning sunlight but are shaded from direct midday sun (Schmitz 1962). In spite of a regular seed production, and no obvious restriction on germination, lack of natural regeneration has often been reported (Aubréville 1938, Taylor 1960).
Growth in suitable conditions is rapid, with trees capable of attaining 8 m (dbh 9 cm) after 7 years and 26 m in 16 years (dbh 97 cm, Howland 1979).
Dispersal: may be wind-dispersed in strong winds Timing: flowering period from April to May; fruiting period from August to November (Taylor 1960). Years of abundant seed generation have been recorded, but in many fruiting years germination is said to be poor (Howland 1979).
A timber species.
Aubreville (1938), Pieters (1958), Quist-Arcton (1958), Taylor (1960), Voorhoeve (1965), Ampofo & Lawson (1972), Schmitz (1962), Howland (1979), Halliday & Nakao (1982), Kyereh et al. (1993), Kyereh (1994), Swaine & Veenendaal (1994), Hawthorne (1995a), IUCN Red List (2000)
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