Life form: large tree
Max. height: 50 m (Voorhoeve 1965)
Max. diameter: > 136 cm (inventory data Ghana)
Leaf: alternate, palmately compound, 5-7 leaflets, lobed for 1/3 of the length, lobes broadly ovate to triangular, entire
Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, branched (panicle, up to 10 cm long) Flower: medium-sized; pinkish white, purple at base Fruit: dry indehiscent, 1-5 free, winged mericarps, 1 seed per mericarp
Seed: large (1 x 2 cm), with 4 cm wings Other: buttressing is most common on the tension side of leaning trees, soils under large-buttressed trees were shallower than those under small-buttressed trees. Clones vary greatly in size and form. Wood density is 0.39 g/cm3.
Continent: Benin to Gabon (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Sierra Leone to Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest, dry semi-deciduous forest
It is a light demander and a pioneer species (Taylor 1960, Voorhoeve 1965). Its abundance shows a strong decline with rainfall, and an optimum at intermediate altitudes (200-400 m). The species is abundant in areas with an annual rainfall of 11001800 mm and two rainy seasons (Hall & Bada 1979), has a preference for fertile soils (Swaine 1996) and avoids swamps (Voorhoeve 1965). The absence from the Wet Evergreen zone is probably because of its reduced growth in the low fertility soils of this region (Veenendaal et al. 1996).
Germination is not high as for many species (only 55%, Taylor 1960). Normal germination is found in light shade (Lamb 1940). It has a phanerocotylar epigeal foliaceous seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965). Seedlings are not typical of shaded under-storey, and it is not clear at which stage the control of this distribution is exercised. In good years, seedlings are very common in gaps of all sizes except the smallest (e.g. Hawthorne 1993).
It can reach 8 m height and 13 cm dbh in 3 years of taungya after planting as stumps (Taylor 1960). On old logging tracks, trees attained 15 m (15 cm dbh) within 4 years (Hawthorne 1993). In Nigeria, mean annual diameter increments of up to 2.5 cm have been recorded in undisturbed forest (Horne 1962). Keay (1989) predicted 42 years to reach 90 cm in diameter. In Nigeria, 50% of the annual increment takes place from mid-April to mid-July (Iyambo 1971). It grows better in mixtures with other species than in monocultures (Lamb 1940).
Deciduousness: deciduous Dispersal: by wind
Timing: flowering period from December to January; fruiting period from January to March (Voorhoeve 1965). It is well-known throughout its range to produce seed very irregularly, both on an annual and on a seasonal basis (e.g. MacKenzie 1959, Lowe 1968, Jones 1974, 1976, Hall & Bada 1979). It flowers in the dry season and fruits around the start of the rains, but with mast years every 4-5 years (Taylor 1960). Unusual, low rainfall periods within the rainfall season may be a stimulus to flowering (MacKenzie 1959), and this accounts, at
least in part, for the species range being tied to areas with a little dry season (Jones 1976, Hall & Bada 1979).
It is a timber species.
Lamb (1940), MacKenzie (1959), Taylor (1960), Horne (1962), Voorhoeve (1965), Lowe (1968), Danso (1970), Iyambo (1971), Johnson (1972), Jones (1974, 1976), Hall & Bada (1979), Hall & Swaine (1981), Keay (1989), Lapido et al. (1991), Hawthorne (1993), Swaine & Veenendaal (1994), Swaine (1996), Veenendaal et al. (1996)
Turraeanthus africanus (Welw. ex C.DC.) Pellegr.
Life form: medium-sized to large tree Max. height: 35 m (Voorhoeve 1965) Max. diameter: 100 cm (Voorhoeve 1965) Leaf: alternate, pinnately compound, 8-24 alternate or subopposite leaflets, narrowly oblong, mesophyll (2-5.5 x 6-25 cm), entire, coriaceous Inflorescence: lateral, branched (panicle, up to 70 cm long)
Flower: small; corolla yellow
Fruit: capsule, subglobose, 2-5 lobed, orange when ripe; 2-5 seeds
Seed: rounded triangular on cross-section, large (1.2 x 2.1 cm), enclosed in a yellow aril Other: usually a low-branched, evergreen tree without buttresses. Wood density is 0.58 g/cm3.
Continent: Benin to Angola (Voorhoeve 1965) Upper Guinea: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo (Voorhoeve 1965) Forest type: upland evergreen forest, moist evergreen forest, moist semi-deciduous forest. A Red List species (Vulnerable).
It is a shade-bearer (Taylor 1960) and avoids the wettest and driest forests (Hawthorne 1995a). It is reported to prefer sandy soils (Voorhoeve 1965).
Germination is normal, and usually with a high viability in forest shade. It has a phanerocotylar epigeal reserve seedling type (cf. Voorhoeve 1965). Seedlings are very shade-tolerant, but survival and growth is best under small gaps (Alexandre 1977). There is a tendency for seedlings to occur near parents, but there are fewer seedlings over adult roots, probably due to parasites (Alexandre 1977).
Deciduousness: evergreen Dispersal: by animals (Alexandre 1977) Timing: flowering period from March to April; fruiting period from August to October (Voorhoeve 1965). In Côte d'Ivoire, the fruits are produced rather irregularly, but usually with two peaks in a year. Only the smaller trees produce fruits.
An important timber tree.
Taylor (1960), Voorhoeve (1965), Alexandre (1977), Hall & Swaine (1981), Hawthorne (1995a), IUCN Red List (2000)
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