Adenanthera tetraptera Schumach. & Thonn.
Tetrapleura thonningii Benth.
Common Name: Aidan Tree
Aidan tree is a deciduous tree growing 20 - 25 metres tall. The bole, which can be 50 - 90cm in diameter, is slender and older trees have very small, low, sharp buttresses. In the forest, the crown is fairly small, thin and rounded, becoming flat when old, but it tends to spread when in the open[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its edible fruit, medicinal applications and other commodities, all of which are used locally.
Tropical Africa - Senegal to Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, south to Angola and Tanzania.
Forest, especially secondary forest, growing best in the rainforest. It is found throughout the high forest zone, in riverine forest, in the southern savannah-woodland and in the forest outliers in the African plains[
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A plant of the moist tropical lowlands, where it is found at elevations up to 600 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures fall within the range 25 - 30°c, but can tolerate 20 - 35°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,700 - 3,000mm, tolerating 1,200 - 5,000mm[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Grows best in a light to medium, well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 4.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4 - 7[
The fruit pulp is rich in sugars and may be used in flavouring food[
]. The fruit is shiny, glabrous, dark purple-brown, usually slightly curved, 15 - 25cm long by about 5cm across, with 4 longitudinal, wing-like ridges nearly 3 cm broad[
]. It is very persistent, hanging at the ends of branches on stout stalks 25cm long[
Leaves, bark, roots and the kernels are used for medicinal purposes[
The bark is used to treat gastric ulcer and dysentery[
The fruit is used to treat malaria[
Tannin is obtainable from the fruit pulp[
The fruits and flowers are used as perfumes and in pomades prepared from palm oil[
The heartwood is reddish to brown; the sapwood is white, The wood is fairly hard and heavy[
]. It is used for building poles, pestles, tool handles and carvings[
The wood is used for fuel[
Seed - sown in a nursery seedbed or individual containers, they usually take about 6 days to germinate[
]. Pot them up into individual containers when they are about five weeks old. They can then be planted out about 3 weeks later[
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