Irvingella chevalieri Tiegh.
Irvingella rubra Tiegh.
Irvingella smithii (Hook.f.) Tiegh.
Irvingella thollonii Tiegh.
Irvingia nodosa Tiegh.
Irvingia smithii is a tree growing 20 - 30 metres tall[
]. The bole is usually up to 1 metre in diameter, with buttresses up to 1 metre long, and is unbranched for less than 5 metres[
The tree is harvested from the wild for food, timber and medicines.
Tropical Africa - Nigeria to Sudan, south to Angola and Congo.
Always growing beside water, it is found on river banks in savannah regions; seasonally flooded and riverine forest[
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The fruit pulp - raw[
]. A sweet flavoured pulp[
]. The fruit is of no value[
]. The fruit is bright red and elongated, up to 5 cm long by 0 .8 cm wide[
Seed - rich in fatty matter[
]. Although smaller than the seeds of many other members of this genus, they are reputed to be the best tasting[
]. The cotyledon represents around 15% of the seed, and is itself 75% fatty matter. The vegetable butter made from the seed constitutes dika of good quality and is of the same characteristics as that from I. Gabonensis[
The kernels from the fruit are an important ingredient in cooking. They are processed by grinding and crushing, and are then used to thicken soups and stews. The kernels are also made into a cake called 'dika bread' or 'odika bread' for year-round preservation and easy use[
The preparation of 'dika bread' consists of drying, roasting and grinding the kernels. The paste obtained is put in a container or 'cake tin' and left to cool for a few hours. Once solid, the cake is removed from the container and is ready for use. If well dried, it can be stored for more than a year. Sometimes women place a tin below the grid on which the dika cake is stored, to collect the oil that drips from it[
A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of dysentery[
The plant is said to be a source of an essential oil used locally in perfumery[
The sap-wood is yellowish-white and the heart-wood reddish-brown, very hard and durable[
]. The wood is used locally as a timber[
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