A very variable aggregate species that has at times been treated as several distinct species[
Klainedoxa buesgenii Engl.
Klainedoxa cuprea Tiegh.
Klainedoxa dybowskii Tiegh.
Klainedoxa lanceifolia Vermoesen
Klainedoxa lecomtei Tiegh.
Klainedoxa macrocarpa Tiegh.
Klainedoxa oblongifolia (Engl.) Vermoesen
Klainedoxa oblongifolia Stapf ex Broun & R.E.Massey
Klainedoxa ovalifolia Vermoesen
Klainedoxa pachyphylla Mildbr.
Klainedoxa spinosa Tiegh.
Klainedoxa zenkeri Tiegh.
Klainedoxa gabonensis is one of the largest trees of the humid African rain-forest[
]. An evergreen tree, it has an open, spreading crown and grows up to 40 - 50 metres tall[
]. The bole is straight, up to 120cm in diameter, and can be unbranched for 20 - 25 metres with narrow, spreading buttresses up to 5 metres high[
]. Young trees have long spines up to 12cm long on the trunk[
]. At the end of the rainy season the tree puts on a spectacular flush of brilliant red new leaf. Flowering takes place at the same time and the crown is covered with a purplish hue[
The tree has many uses for the local people, providing an excellent edible oil-rich seed, a range of medicinal applications and a high quality wood.
Western tropical Africa - Guinea-Bissau to Uganda, south to the Congo.
Found in a wide variety of habitats including river banks in savannah regions; Parinari excelsa woodland; forest associations on dry land; semi-deciduous rain-forest; margins of seasonally flooded forest at elevations of 200 - 1,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Semi-cultivated, Wild
A tree of the humid rainforests[
Where forest is being cleared for agriculture the tree is usually left standing and becomes a conspicuous feature of the landscape. Its presence in secondary vegetation is a fair indication of previous occupation[
The kernels are much relished for human use[
]. They are eaten fresh or roasted, or crushed to a paste, and enter into cooking in numerous ways[
]. The paste is rich and oily, and is mixed with other foods as a gravy or relish[
]. The kernel prepared as a vegetable butter is a substitute for shea (karite) butter (Vitellaria paradoxa)[
]. The seed contains about 65 % oil consisting, on a dry weight basis, of myristic acid 42%, oleic acid 22%, lauric acid 16%, palmitic acid 11%, and others[
].The seed is contained in a usually 5-angled fruit, 5 - 8 cm long, each angle containing one hard woody nut, and the whole in a fibrous covering containing some gummy substance[
The bark is analgesic332]. A preparation is taken by mouth for treating venereal disease, sterility and impotence[
Applied externally, it is ground to a fine powder, then mixed with clay and water for rubbing onto rheumatic joints. The pulped-up bark is prepared as an ointment with palm-oil for application to areas of rheumatism, and a bark-decoction is put in baths and lotions for buccal infections, small-pox and chickenpox[
Tannin is reported to be present in both the bark and the root[
The young leaves are usually characterised by the presence of long linear stipules which are soon shed. The young stipuled leaves are eaten with palm kernels as an aphrodisiac[
]. The leaves are eaten with vegetables, oil, salt, fish or meat as a stomachic, and are used as an analgesic for topical or internal application in various cases of pain[
A trace of alkaloid is reported present in the leaves[
The branches and the stems of young trees are flexible and are used to make spring traps[
The heart-wood is attractively coloured reddish to golden brown with wide dark veining, and often with zigzag markings; it is not clearly demarcated from the thin band of light brown sapwood. The texture is fine; the grain straight or interlocked, sometimes wavy. The wood is very heavy; very hard; elastic; very durable, even in contact with the soil, being resistant to fungi, dry wood borers and termites but liable to marine borer attack. The wood is very difficult to dry, it seasons slowly with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is poorly stable in service. Although it does not contain silice, the wood has a fairly high blunting effect because of its hardness, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; nailing and screwing are good but require pre-boring; gluing is poor. The wood an be used in heavy construction, including purposes in contact with the ground or fresh water; it is also used for railway sleepers, heavy flooring, poles etc[
]. It can be made into attractive furniture. Traditionally, poles are often used in hut-construction, though the wood is generally too hard for cutting with domestic implements, so that its local usages are very limited[
]. In primitive dwellings in Sierra Leone, the buttresses are sometimes used to make doors[
The wood is deemed a good firewood[
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