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Useful Tropical Plants

Pentaclethra macrophylla

Benth.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: African Oil Bean

Pentaclethra macrophylla
Buckets of seeds
Photograph by: Scamperdale
Creative Commons License
Pentaclethra macrophylla Pentaclethra macrophylla Pentaclethra macrophylla

General Information

African oil bean is a relatively fast-growing evergreen tree growing from 20 - 40 metres tall[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It has a characteristic low branching habit and an open crown, which allows substantial light under its canopy[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The stem form is usually crooked and buttressed, though some straight-stemmed and less buttressed trees, which can pass for good timber, are occasionally seen in the forests[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
]. The bole can be around 1 metre in diameter[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
An important multipurpose tree for local people, providing food, medicines and a range of other commodities[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It is often left when other trees are cleared and is planted, mostly along roads, in Africa. It is sometimes also used as a shade tree and is grown as an ornamental[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Known Hazards

The seeds contain a toxic alkaloid[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. They are pulverized and used as a component of an arrow poison, they are also used as fish poison and as mild drug (snuff)[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Botanical References


Range

West tropical Africa - Senegal to Central African Republic, south to Angola and the Congo.

Habitat

Mainly in lowland rainforest, but also sometimes in the high forest zone[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Often occurs near streams and on the edges of damp depressions, and is frequently seen as a small tree of untidy habit and large crown on roadsides and farms[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height30.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the humid and subhumid tropics[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is within the range 24 - 30°c, but can tolerate 18 - 34°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,800 - 2,200mm, tolerating 1,000 - 2,700mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a deep, moderately fertile medium soil[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Tolerant of some water-logging[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 4.5 - 5.5, but tolerates 4 - 6.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Seedling trees can reach a height of 1.5 metres by the end of their first year[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].
The trees start to produce beans from their tenth year and will continue to bear regularly[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
After about 2-years growth in the forest, the trees become relatively fire resistant and resprout readily when lopped[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].
Trees coppice well and often produce watershoots around their base[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
There are conflicting reports on whether or not this tree has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, so it is unclear as to whether this tree fixes atmospheric nitrogen[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

Seeds - boiled or roasted[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. They can be ground into a flour and used in making bread[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The pods are 40 - 50cm long and 5 - 10cm wide, containing 6 - 10 flat, glossy brown seeds up to 7cm long[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The seeds are fermented to produce 'ugba'[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. They are boiled for 3 - 12 hours; then the seedcoat is removed. When the cotyledons are cooled to room temperature they are sliced into small pieces of 4 - 5 cm × 1 - 2 mm and washed with water. The slices are boiled for 1 - 2 hours, cooled and soaked in water for 10 hours[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Then the slices are drained in a basket lined with banana leaves[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The drained slices are wrapped in blanched leaves of banana or Mallotus oppositifolius and incubated at ambient temperature for 4 - 6 days when prepared for use as a snack or sidedish, or for 7 - 10 days when prepared as a condiment for soups[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The fermentation is proteolytic and proceeds under alkaline conditions. It is caused mainly by Bacillus subtilis, but other Bacillus spp. are also involved, while other bacteria may be present as contaminants[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The seeds contain 30 - 36% of an edible oil[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. They are used for the production of 'owala-oil', or 'owala-butter' which is used in food[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The ash of the seedpods is used as a salt substitute[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].

Medicinal

Extracts of the leaf, stembark, seed and fruit pulp have anti-inflammatory and anthelmintic activity, and are used to treat gonorrhoea and convulsions, and also used as analgesic[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The crushed seeds are taken to acquire an abortion[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Leaf and stem decoctions are taken against diarrhoea[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

A lotion made from the bark is used as a wash on sores[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

The ripe fruits are applied externally to heal wounds[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

The root bark is used as a laxative, as an enema against dysentery and as a liniment against itch[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. An infusion of the bark is used as an abortifacient[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Farmers protect this species on farms because of its open crown form that allows substantial light and does not inhibit crop plants grown under its canopy[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. This accounts for the trees use in combination with food crops on farms and particularly in home gardens in south east Nigeria[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The tree produces a heavy leaf fall and these are used as a mulch[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].

Other Uses

The seeds contain 30 - 36% oil[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. They are used for the production of 'owala-oil', or 'owala-butter' which is used in soap and candle production[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The dried pods are used as fuel[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

The ashes of burnt pods are used as a mordant[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].

The seeds are decorative and are used as beads in necklaces and rosaries[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The heartwood is reddish brown and not always distinctly demarcated from the whitish or grey sapwood[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The wood is hard, the grain interlocked and difficult to work[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Wood of suitable size can be difficult to find but, when available, it is used for turnery, wheelwright's work, fencing, railway sleepers and general carpentry[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. Traditionally, it is used to make pestles and mortars[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The wood is used as firewood and charcoal[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe because it has a short viability[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
]. Storage at 15°c can extend longevity for about three months[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
]. Scarifying the seed and then soaking for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing increases the germination rate and reduces the time taken to germinate[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
]. About 87% of treated seed germinates within 14 - 16 days[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Adult trees can be air layered[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].
Cuttings of juvenile plants can be rooted, but usually require rooting hormone[
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].

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