Omphalocarpum anocentrum Pierre ex Engl.
Omphalocarpum radlkoferi Baill.
Omphalocarpum trillesianum Pierre ex Engl.
Omphalocarpum elatum is an evergreen tree with a compact crown growing around 25 - 30 metres tall. The slender, cylindrical bole is around 80cm in diameter (with exceptional specimens to 180cm), unbuttressed but slightly fluted[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use, and also as a source of timber and latex.
West tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to Zaire.
Scattered in evergreen forest, often in humid localities[
]. Deciduous and lowland rain-forest[
|Other Uses Rating||
The plant flowers and fruits throughout the year, the fruits taking about one year to ripen[
]. They are eaten by elephants, which are the only animals able to crack open the hard, thick shell. The elephants swallow the pulp together with the seeds, which are deposited in the dung and thus dispersed. It seems that the presence of elephants is needed for successful seed germination under natural conditions, because the seeds of rotten fruits on the ground are destroyed by insects and seedlings are not found under trees in regions where elephants have disappeared[
A decoction of the bark is used in traditional medicine to treat constipation and restore milk flow in nursing mothers[
A decoction of the bark, combined with the fruits of peppers (Capsicum annuum) and Solanum anguivi, is used to treat malaria[
A decoction of the young leaves is used for the treatment of cough[
A mixture of the seeds and crushed bark, diluted in palm wine, is used as a purgative in case of poisoning and to treat scrotal elephantiasis[
The seeds are used in the treatment of yaws[
In tests the bark showed high in-vitro anthelmintic activity against Haemonchus contortus larvae[
The seeds contain alkaloids and saponins[
An oil is obtained from the seed[
The latex has been used as an adulterant of rubber[
The seeds are used for decorative purposes such as making necklaces[
The heartwood is pale reddish brown or pale brown with a pinkish tinge, and indistinctly demarcated from the whitish sapwood[
]. The grain is straight or slightly wavy, texture is moderately fine. Fresh wood has a foetid smell, but dry wood is odourless. The wood is fairly easy to work and finishes smoothly. It is only moderately durable[
]. The wood is used for planks, implements such as mortars and bowls, handles, seats and drums. It is also used for dugout canoes[
Seed - those that have passed through an elephant’s gut germinate after about 2 weeks; seeds extracted from the fruits take 3 - 9 weeks[
]. The seedlings are probably shade tolerant[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.