Paradaniellia oliveri Rolfe
Common Name: African Copaiba Balsam Tree
African copaiba balsam tree is a slow-growing, deciduous tree with a flat-topped, spreading, dense crown; usually growing 9 - 25 metres tall, but with occasional specimens as tall as 45 metres[
]. The cylindrical bole, which can be straight or twisted, is up to 1.5 metres in diameter, unbranched for the first 8 - 10 metres; unbuttressed but root-fluted at the base[
The largest tree of the wooded savannahs of Sudan -Guinea, it is harvested from the wild for its timber, gum and medicinal properties. The edible leaves are sometimes sold in local markets and the timber is also traded[
Tropical Africa - Senegal to Cote D'Ivoire, east to Sudan and Uganda.
Wooded grassland with Butyrospermum paradoxum; gregarious in deciduous forests; wooded savannah to open forest on sandy-clayey humid soil; sandy soils on laterite; granitic rocks; on alluvial terrace of large marigot[
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Tender young leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
]. The young leaves are only eaten in times of scarcity[
]. The leaves are being used increasingly as a replacement for Vitex doniana leaves, which have become more difficult to obtain due to over-exploitation[
A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea and skin diseases[
The gum-resin, obtained from the wood, is used medicinally[
The leaves are used in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea[
The roots, leaves and the bark are used medicinally[
An ogea-gum-resin, obtained from the wood, is used for the manufacture of perfume, varnishes and furniture polish[
]. Used locally as a gum.
The heartwood is brown, sometimes with greenish-brown veins; it is not clearly demarcated from the 4 - 12cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is coarse; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is light in weight, soft; it is not very durable, having a slight resistance to fungi and being susceptible to dry wood borers and termites. It seasons rapidly, with only a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. The wood can be worked with ordinary tools, though they need to be kept very sharp because of the risk of fuzzy surfaces; nailing and screwing are good; gluing is correct, though assembling and gluing is sometimes difficult due to the warping of dried veneers. The wood is used for purposes such as boxes and crates, cheaper furniture, interior joinery, blockboard and veneer[
Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water prior to sowing. The seed is best sown in situ since it quickly develops a deep taproot. If growing in a nursery bed, then frequent root pruning is required.
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