Chrysophyllum autranianum A.Chev.
Gambeya lacourtiana (De Wild.) Aubrév. & Pellegr.
Common Name: Abam
Abam is a usually evergreen tree, though can become leafless for a short time when flowering in the dry season. It has a spreading crown; it can grow up to 40 metres tall. The straight and cylindrical bole is sometimes fluted with steep buttresses at the base, it can be free of branches for up to 24 metres and up to 100cm in diameter[
The edible fruit is harvested from the wild by local people and is sold in local markets. The wood is traded in small volumes internationally[
]. The tree is rarely planted, but is commonly maintained when forest is cleared for agriculture[
Tropical Africa - Cameroon to the Central African Republic, Gabon and DR Congo.
Dense, semi-deciduous forest, on sandy-loamy soils in gallery forest in valleys, where it often occurs scattered and is generally uncommon[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Semi-cultivated, Wild
A plant of the moist tropics, growing in areas with one or two dry seasons, where the average annual rainfall is 1,400 - 1,500mm and the mean annual temperature around 24°c[
Prefers a deep, rich loam[
Growth of young plants is slow, with annual increase of just 6 - 10cm during the first three years[
Plants fruit regularly, often every year but sometimes once every two years, and fruits take about 12 months to ripen[
Fruit - raw. The dark red to light orange, apple-shaped fruit has a juicy, sticky, sweet to subacid pulp[
]. It is highly esteemed by local people, who eat it by making a hole in one end and sucking out the flesh[
]. The pulp can be salted and eaten with staple foods such as cassava and plantain[
]. It is sometimes dried and used in sauces[
]. The orange to red fruit is a large, ovoid to globose berry 6 - 11cm long, containing up to five large seeds[
A bark decoction is applied vaginally to treat inflammations of uterus and vagina, and it is used in vapour baths to treat rheumatism and kidney pain[
The powdered bark is applied externally to wounds[
A maceration of the root bark is applied topically to treat earache[
A sticky latex exudes from the bark[
]. No uses are mentioned[
The heartwood is yellowish white to yellow-brown, sometimes with ribbon-like or mottled figure, and indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood, which is up to 5 cm wide[
]. The grain is usually straight; texture fine to moderately fine. The wood is medium-weight; brittle and not very shock-resistant; only moderately durable and liable to attacks by blue stain, termites and marine borers. It is fairly easy to saw, works well with hand and machine tools, and it can be planed to a smooth finish. It does not easily split on nailing, and it holds nails and screws well[
]. The wood is suitable for construction, light flooring, interior trim, mine props, railway sleepers, ships, vehicle bodies, furniture, cabinet work, implements, sporting goods, carvings, turnery, veneer, plywood, hardboard, particle board and pulp for paper production[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. It takes up to six weeks to germinate[
]. Seeds start to germinate after 50 days and can take 100 days[
]. Seedlings need a position with some shade[
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