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Useful Tropical Plants

Entandrophragma cylindricum

(Sprague) Sprague

Meliaceae

+ Synonyms

Entandrophragma lebrunii Staner

Entandrophragma rufum A.Chev.

Entandrophragma tomentosum A.Chev. ex Hutch. & Dalziel

Pseudocedrela cylindrica Sprague

Common Name: Sapele Mahogany

Entandrophragma cylindricum
Tree growing in DR Congo
Photograph by: Robert Sharp
Public domain
Entandrophragma cylindricum Entandrophragma cylindricum

General Information

Sapele mahogany is a slow-growing, deciduous to evergreen tree with a rounded crown; it can grow 40 - 60 metres tall with occasional specimens up to 65 metres. The straight, more or less cylindrical bole can be free of branches for up to 40 metres, it is u to 200cm in diameter, with low, blunt buttresses up to 2 metres high, rarely up to 4 metres[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and is planted as a roadside tree and ornamental shade tree[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Sapele mahogany is one of the most important commercial timbers in tropical Africa, large amounts are exported each year[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The high levels of exploitation of this species has led to some concern for the genetic diversity of the tree and it has been listed as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2009)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Tropical Africa - moister areas from Sierra Leone to Uganda, south to Angola.

Habitat

Most common in semi-deciduous forest, although it can also be found in evergreen forest[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height50.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A tree of low to medium elevations in the moist tropics[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It favours areas where the annual rainfall is around 1,750 mm, there is a dry period of 2 - 4 months and a mean annual temperature of 24 - 26°c[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Prefers well-drained soils, being more tolerant of dry forest than any other member of the genus[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is generally recognized as a non-pioneering tree that demands plenty of light, although a study in DR Congo indicated it as being exceptionally shade-tolerant[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Seedlings up to 2 years old require light shade, but thereafter they should be gradually exposed to more light. They can survive for several years in the shade without significant growth, but when a gap is created in the forest providing enough light further development into a tree starts[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Natural regeneration is often scarce in natural forest, but logging operations creating gaps may promote regeneration, larger gaps appearing more favourable[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Under natural conditions, seeds germinate abundantly, but mortality of seedlings is high, less than 1% reaching 10 cm stem diameter[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Seedlings grow slowly, at around 20 - 40 cm/year[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Root development takes considerable time[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The mean annual diameter increment for trees in the Central African Republic has been established at 3.9mm, but the variability is large. For trees planted in lines in forest in Cameroon, the average annual height growth during 40 years was 30 - 50cm and average annual diameter growth 4 - 8mm. Trees planted in the open in Cote d'Ivoire reached an average height of 5.4 metres and an average stem diameter of 10cm after 7 years, with a survival rate of 74%[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Trees start flowering when 35 - 45 years old. Fruit production starts when trees have reached bole diameters above 50 cm. This has implications for forest management; minimum felling diameters should be well above 50 cm to allow natural regeneration[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Trees can live for over 500 years[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The trees lose their leaves for 2 - 4 weeks, or gradually change leaves over a period of 8 - 13 weeks[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The bark is used in traditional medicine. A decoction or maceration is taken to treat bronchitis, lung complaints, colds, oedema and as an anodyne[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The bark pulp is applied externally to furuncles and wounds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The lactone entandrophragmin has been isolated from the heartwood and bark. It showed high toxicity to tadpoles[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The bark contains tannins and several acyclic triterpenoids, called sapelenins[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Other Uses

Bark extracts have been used to protect stored maize from pests[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The extracts have shown inhibitory effects on the reproduction of the maize weevil Sitophilus zeamais[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The tannin present in the bark has been used experimentally to produce tannin-formaldehyde resin, which can be used as lacquer, although the drying time was rather long, 5 - 7 hours[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

An essential oil is obtained from the bark. The major constituents are γ-cadinene (9 - 23%), α-copaene (7 - 22%) and T-cadinol (18 - 28%)[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The seeds contain about 45% oil. The fatty acid composition of the oil is characterized by the presence of about 50% cis-vaccenic acid, a rare isomer of oleic acid, that can be used in the industrial production of nylon-11[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Other major fatty acids are stearic acid (16%), oleic acid (7%), linoleic acid (5%) and linolenic acid (6%)[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The heartwood is pinkish brown when freshly cut, darkening upon exposure to reddish brown or purplish brown; it is distinctly demarcated from the 4 - 8cm wide band of creamy white to pinkish grey sapwood. The grain is interlocked or wavy; texture fairly fine; there is a a distinct cedar-like smell. The wood is moderately heavy, moderately hard; it is moderately durable, being liable to powder-post beetle, pinhole borer and marine borer attacks, with moderate resistance to termites and fungi, and good resistance to dry wood borers. It seasons normally, with a high risk of distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. The wood saws and works easily with both hand and machine tools; it has only slight blunting effects on cutting edges. In planing and moulding operations, a 15 - 20° cutting angle is recommended to avoid picking up of grain. Finishing gives usually good results, with a nice polish. The wood is not liable to splitting in nailing and screwing, with good holding properties. The gluing, staining and polishing properties are good, but the steam bending properties are poor. The wood is suitable for the production of both sliced and rotary veneer; steaming for 48 - 72 hours at 85°C gives good results. The wood is highly valued for flooring, interior joinery, interior trim, panelling, stairs, high class furniture, cabinet work, musical instruments, carvings, ship building, veneer and plywood. It is suitable for construction, vehicle bodies, toys, novelties, boxes, crates and turnery[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
848
Title
Tropix 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tropix.cirad.fr/en
Publisher
CIRAD
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line guide to the timbers of 245 species of trees.
]. The bole is traditionally used for dug-out canoes[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Wood that can not be utilized as timber is used as firewood and for charcoal production[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - pre-soaking for 12 hours in warm water is said to speed up germination[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The seed rapidly loses viability, often within 3 weeks, and so it is best sown fresh when the germination rate is around 80 - 95%[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Germination starts 14 - 26 days after sowing[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Overhead shade is required for young seedlings, they perform poorly under full light conditions[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Seeds can be stored for some time in sealed containers in a cool place, but insect damage, to which they are very susceptible, should be avoided, e.g. by adding ash[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
Cuttings 90 - 110 cm long have been used successfully for propagation[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

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