Cistanthera fouassieri A.Chev.
Cistanthera kabingaensis K.Schum.
Cistanthera leplaei Vermoesen
Nesogordonia fouassieri (A.Chev.) Capuron ex N.Hallé.
Nesogordonia leplaei (Vermoesen) Capuron ex R.Germ.
Common Name: Danta
Danta is a medium-sized to large tree growing up to 45 metres tall[
]. It is usually evergreen but sometimes loses its leaves for a short period[
Trees are not usually cultivated, but are commonly cut down for their timber in the wild.
Danta has been classified as 'Vulnerable' by IUCN because of over-exploitation and reduction of the natural area of distribution[
The wood may cause occupational asthma in people who regularly work with it[
]. They may also develop allergic skin reactions[
Western tropical Africa - Sierra Leone east to DR Congo and Uganda, south to Gabon and Angola.
Dense, semi-deciduous forest with a pronounced dry season, at elevations up to 500 metres[
]. It is often an indication of fertile, base-rich soil[
]. Common on hillsides, it avoids swampy localities[
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Danta is quite a slow-growing tree with saplings reaching a height of up to 1 - 1.5 metres in 4 years[
]. Young trees require the shade of the forest in which to grow, but as they grow larger their light requirement increases with mature trees needing a position with plenty of light[
]. In semi-deciduous forests, danta is usually represented in the upper forest storey by a few individual trees and in the lower canopy by many recruits[
]. Fruits are produced throughout the year except during the dry season. The seeds are dispersed by wind. In mature forest individual trees of up to 125 years old have been recorded[
Natural regeneration is best in medium-large gaps in the forest. In large forest clearings, and also in small gaps and especially in dense forest, regeneration is poorer[
Burning seems to have a negative effect on regeneration[
The tree is not grown in plantations due to its shade-demanding nature when young and comparatively low growth rates[
Freshly cut logs sink in water and cannot be transported by river[
A leaf decoction is used to relieve dental caries[
Twigs are used as chew-sticks[
The heartwood is pale brown to purplish brown with a tendency to become lighter on exposure to light; it is distinctly demarcated from the 2 - 5cm thick band of pale brown to pink sapwood. The grain can be straight or interlocked; texture is fine; the wood shows a ribbon-like figure on quarter-sawn surfaces; growth rings are mostly distinct[
]. The wood is moderately heavy; hard; resistant to abrasion; moderately durable, though it should not be used in contact with the ground. It is moderately resistant to fungi and termites; resistant to dry-wood borers; the sapwood is liable to powder-post beetle attack. The heartwood is susceptible to marine borers[
]. The wood is easy to work; it blunts edged tools moderately rapidly so stellite-tipped sawteeth are recommended; a cutting angle of 15 - 20° is recommended when planing to prevent tearing; nailing and screwing are good, but pre-boring is sometimes needed; gluing does not cause problems; bending properties are moderate. The wood takes an excellent polish and can be varnished and painted without difficulty. The peeling and slicing properties are good. Treatment with steam at 100°c for 48 hours is recommended to facilitate slicing and improve the quality of veneer[
]. It is used in exterior and interior joinery, parquetry, turnery, for staircase boards, window frames, furniture, cabinets, tool handles, mallets, and also for lorry bodies, coach/wagon work and small boats. It is excellent for wood carving. In West Africa it was formerly used to make butts for rifles. The wood is suitable for making sliced veneer and plywood[
The wood is used as firewood[
Seed - germination takes 7 - 25 days, and the germination rate is about 75%. Light shade seems to be needed for germination.
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