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Afzelia africana

AuthoritySmith ex Pers
FamilyMagnoliopsida:Rosidae:Fabales:Leguminosae
Synonyms
Common namesAfrican mahogany, doussie, mogno africano
Editor
Ecocrop code2877



Notes
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Large deciduous tree reaching a height of 10-25 m and a trunk diameter of up to 40 cm. Scaly grey-brown bark, with a pink or red slash. The form is often bad. Pods flattened 12-17 x 5-8 x 3.5 cm, glabrous, black, woody, persistent bursts open at maturity spreading the seeds. Seeds poisonous, with a sweet edible aril. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. Under favourable conditions the seeds germinate in 10-20 days. USE: Wood hard, heavy, durable, termite-proof, light brown to red-brown in colour, excellent timber, difficult to work, though. Used in carpentry, canoe and house building, furniture making. A substitute for mahogany. Used in human medicine :febrifugal, analgaesic, anti-hemorrhageic, laxative, emetic, emmenagogic and aphrodisiac, the foliage is good cattle forage, particularly before the regrowth of grass in the early rainy season. Pods are rich in ashes used for making soap. As the leaves are rich in nitrogen they are used to enrich the soil. COMMON NAMES: African mahogany. FURTHER INF: The tree is widely distributed along the West Coast of Africa in semi-deciduous forest and Sudano-Guinean savannas up to the southern border of the Sahel. Found from Senegal to Uganda especially in areas with rainfall 1200-1800 mm. It can be found in the drier part of the tropical forests region in valleys, on the savanna and in areas fringing forests. It is fire resistant. It is a lowland species occurring at elevations up to 900 m. Found in well watered sites with a deep sandy soil; can adapt to lateritic soils.
Sources
Grassland Index
White F 1983 pp 326 [TEXT, RAIN, TEMP, DRA]
Soerianegara I 1993 pp 69-72 [TEXT, DRA]
Steven R and Staberg P 2005