Hylodendron gabunense is a tree with an irregular crown comprising both erect and horizontal branches; it usually grows 20 - 40 metres tall, though specimens up to 55 metres have been recorded. The straight, cylindrical bole can be unbranched for 10 metres, even up to 25 metres in larger trees; it is around 30 - 100cm in diameter; and has numerous, thin, ramose, winged buttresses with woody spines[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of timber.
West tropical Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo, northern Angola.
Gallery forest, clump of trees; on shallow soils; sometimes in small stands on old cultivations; frequent in secondary forest; here and there in rain-forest (big trees); at elevations up to 200 metres[
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A fast-growing tree[
]. The tree has rather low growth rates[
The mean annual growth in bole diameter in natural forest has been estimated at 3 - 4mm[
Seedlings are often quite abundant in the forest[
The bark is antidote, aphrodisiac, astringent and oxytococ[
]. It is used as a treatment for poisoning; to treat sterility in women; to induce labour; against infections of the respiratory tract; and to treat venereal diseases.
The bark is used as a mouthwash to treat toothache[
The presence of tannins has been recorded for the bark and roots[
The compound 1,3,4,5-tetragalloylapiitol has been isolated from an aqueous leaf extract. This compound was found to be a potent inhibitor of HIV Rnase H enzymatic activity in vitro[
The heartwood is yellowish white to pale brown, sometimes with a pink tinge; it is not distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is straight, texture moderately fine[
]. The wood is heavy, moderately durable, being moderately resistant to termite and pinhole borer attacks, but susceptible to Lyctus and marine borers. With appropriate equipment, the wood saws fairly well despite its hardness. It has been recommended to quarter-sawn the timber before further processing. Machining and planing show good results with a nice finish. The wood has good nailing properties, but pre-boring is needed. The wood is used for joinery and tool handles. It is suitable for heavy construction, heavy flooring, interior trim, ship building, vehicle bodies, mine props, furniture, sporting goods, toys, novelties, agricultural implements, railway sleepers, carvings and turnery[
The wood is used for fuel[
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