Licania elaeosperma (Mildbr.) Prance & F.White
Common Name: Mahogany Nut
Afrolicania elaeosperma is a small tree growing up to 15 metres tall[
The seeds are a source of a useful oil and are often collected from wild stands of the trees, often along the shore[
]. Although the oil has interesting chemical properties, it is unlikely that it will become more important as an industrial oil as the very long juvenile period of the tree makes it uneconomical as a plantation species[
Western Tropical Africa - Guinea and Sierra Leone to the Central African Republic, Gabon and Congo.
Coastal and riverine primary and secondary forest in the Guineo-Congolian rainforest zone, sometimes on the land-side behind mangroves[
]. It often grows on very poor sandy soils[
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Trees are slow to mature and 20 - 30-year old specimens are known that still do not bear fruit[
There is some export of the oil, e.g. From Ghana, but amounts involved are not known[
The seeds contain 40 - 58% of a drying oil that solidifies rapidly into a varnish-like mass[
]. The seed oil is used as a hair oil and body scent. It was formerly used as a substitute for linseed oil in paints and varnishes, and as a poor substitute for tung oil[
]. The stone of the fruit is brittle and the oily kernel is easily removed from it[
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