Guild: np

Life form: large hemiparasitic tree Max. height: 40 m (Hawthorne 1995a) Max. diameter: 100 cm (Tailfer 1989) Leaf: opposite, simple, ovate to elliptic, mesophyll (3.5-8 x 8-15 cm), entire, herbaceous, densely pubescent beneath; 3-4 pairs of nerves Inflorescence: on older wood, branched (panicle, 15 cm long)

Flower: small; greenish

Fruit: fleshy (drupe), ellipsoid (5 x 9 cm); 1 seed Seed: very large

Other: a tree with a cylindrical bole and without buttresses.


Continent: Cameroon (herbarium). From Côte d'Ivoire to Cameroon, with a different variety in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Keay 1989, Hawthorne 1995a)

Upper Guinea: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana (herbarium)

Distribution type: continental disjunct with the largest population in Upper Guinea, present in 9 30' cells in Upper Guinea Forest type: wet evergreen forest


Sometimes found on rocky hills. It is often found in forest openings (Veenendaal et al. 1996a). It seems to prefer N-fixing legume hosts, like Pericopsis elata (Veenendaal et al. 1996a).


Germination is slow, and takes 3-6 months (De la Mensbruge 1966). It has a cryptocotylar hypogeal reserve seedling type (cf. de la Mensbruge 1966). Within 6 months after germination the seedling is able to infect neighbouring host seedlings. The infection leads to a decreased growth of some of the host species, but does not lead to an increased growth of Okoubaka. In the initial seedling phase, the large seed mass enables Okoubaka to realise a slow growth, independent of its hosts (Veenendaal et al. 1996a).


Dispersal: the fruits are like those of Balanites and, hence, might be dispersed by elephants, although there is no evidence for this. The saplings were found to be common in large gaps in the Krokosua hills (where elephants occur) (Hawthorne 1995a).

Data sources

FWTA, Aubréville (1959), De la Mensbruge (1966), Keay (1989), Tailfer (1989), Hawthorne (1995a), Veenendaal et al. (1996a), Hawthorne & Jongkind (2004)




Mean Annual Rainfall

Soil CMK

Soil WHC





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