Blighia kamerunensis Radlk.
Blighia laurentii De Wild.
Blighia mildbraedii Radlk.
Blighia wildemanniana Radlk.
Phialodiscus laurentii (De Wild.) Radlk.
Phialodiscus mortehanii De Wild.
Phialodiscus welwitschii Hiern
Blighia welwitschii is an evergreen tree with a usually dense crown; usually growing up to 40 metres tall, occasionally to 50 metres. The cylindrical bole is usually straight, it can be free of branches for up to 30 metres, up to 100cm in diameter, slightly fluted at base or sometimes with small, thick buttresses[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of wood.
The bark, young leaves, fruits and seeds are used as fish poison[
The arils of unripe seeds may be toxic, as well as the seeds[
Tropical Africa - Sierra Leone to DR Congo and Uganda, south to Angola.
Found mostly in moist evergreen forest, in primary as well as secondary formations, but it can also be found in semi-deciduous forest. In Uganda it is found at elevations up to 1,150 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
The fragrant young leaves are used for flavouring soup[
Fruit - raw. The mature arils are eaten, but the arils of unripe seeds may be toxic, as well as the seeds[
The bark is used as a revulsive on the skin to relieve kidney, costal and lumbago pain. A bark decoction is taken as a purgative and to treat cough[
The leaves are aphrodisiac and cholagogue[
]. The powdered leaves are eaten with ripe banana when used as an aphrodisiac[
The leaf sap is applied as drops to the ear to treat ear inflammations[
The plant has been reported to be a host of okra mosaic virus. It showed symptoms that were similar to that of the infected vegetables, i.e. leaves with chlorosis near the veins, and was considered to pose a risk when planted close to okra fields[
Several saponins have been isolated from the fruits, some of which showed insecticidal activity against Spodoptera frugiperda and toxicity in the brine shrimp test[
The heartwood is pale brown to reddish brown, often with white specks; it is usually distinctly demarcated from the white to pinkish yellow, about 10cm wide band of sapwood. The grain is straight or interlocked; texture usually moderately fine; quarter-sawn material usually shows a ribbon stripe of narrow vertical bands alternately yellow and brown; the wood is moderately lustrous. The wood is moderately heavy to heavy; very strong; tough; quite hard; moderately durable and quite resistant to insect attacks, but susceptible to Lyctus attack[
]. It saws well but slowly, and works easily with both machine and hand tools despite its high density; it polishes and sands to an attractive finish; has good nailing and screwing properties; hold nails firmly; and glues moderately well. The wood is commonly used for light construction, light flooring, joinery, interior trim, furniture, poles, piles, mine props, toys, novelties, boxes, crates, pestles, mortars, agricultural implements, oars and turnery. It is suitable for ship building, railway sleepers, veneer, plywood and pulpwood[
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