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Cola lateritia K.Schum.

Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 2: 307 (1899).
Sterculiaceae (APG: Malvaceae)
Chromosome number
2n = 40, 42
Vernacular names
Petit ouara (Fr). Amoreira, moreira (Po).
Origin and geographic distribution
Cola lateritia is distributed from Guinea to south-eastern DR Congo. It has been introduced elsewhere, e.g. into Cape Verde, where it has naturalized.
The wood of Cola lateritia is used in local carpentry and for making casks and bows. In DR Congo the wood of the buttresses is considered good for making pails and tubs for household use, and clappers made from the wood are attached to hunting-dogs.
The fruit pulp is eaten and the seed is chewed in the same way as that of the true kola (mainly Cola acuminata (P.Beauv.) Schott & Endl. and Cola nitida (Vent.) Schott & Endl.). In Côte d’Ivoire leaf buds and young leaves are eaten as a vegetable; they are much appreciated during feasts and initiation ceremonies. Fibre from the bark is made into cordage.
In Sierra Leone sun-dried plant parts are smoked in a pipe for treatment of tuberculosis. In Liberia eruptions, especially on the nostrils, are treated with an ointment of the inner bark pounded with clay, and by bathing the afflicted parts in a leaf decoction. In Côte d’Ivoire a bark-decoction is applied as vaginal douche against sterility, whereas a preparation of the inner bark is drunk against cough. In Central Africa a bark decoction is drunk against intercostal pain.
The heartwood of Cola lateritia is pinkish brown, sometimes figured; the sapwood is grey-white. The grain is mostly straight, texture coarse. The wood has a density of about 590 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. It is tough, strong and flexible, bending without breaking. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 74 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 10,100 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 51 N/mm², Janka side hardness 3980 N and Janka end hardness 4230 N. The wood is difficult to work and does not give a smooth finish. It splits easily, and is not durable.
Large deciduous tree up to 50 m tall; bole straight, up to 80 cm in diameter, usually with concave buttresses 1–2 m high and about 1.2 m wide at the base; outer bark grey to brown, smooth, sometimes slightly fissured or cracked, inner bark pink, fibrous; crown large and spreading; twigs and buds hairy. Leaves alternate, simple, entire or lobed; stipules triangular, up to 8 mm long, caducous; petiole up to 30 cm long, sparsely hairy, glabrescent; blade broadly ovate, up to 35(–45) cm × 30(–40) cm, base cordate, apex acute, hairy on both sides when young, glabrescent, becoming reddish at drying, basal veins 7–9, lateral veins in 4–7 pairs. Inflorescence a panicle up to 15 cm long in axils of upper leaves or on defoliated branches, reddish pubescent. Flowers unisexual or bisexual, regular, yellow, pink or red, scented; pedicel up to 15 mm long, jointed; calyx campanulate, 5(–7)-lobed, 7–15 mm long; corolla absent; male flowers with a shortly hairy androphore with 2 whorls of 7–10 stamens each; female and bisexual flowers with ovary generally consisting of 4 carpels. Fruit consisting of usually 4 indehiscent follicles, on robust, 7–10 cm long pedicel; follicles ovoid to globose, up to 6.5 cm long, with a short and slender beak, red or pink, wrinkled, glabrous, 4–8-seeded. Seeds ovoid, 2.5–3 cm × 1.5 cm, glabrous, surrounded by a mucilaginous pulp; aril c. 2 mm thick. Seedling with epigeal germination.
Cola comprises about 100 species and is restricted to continental Africa. Cola bruneelii De Wild., a shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall also occurs in dense humid forest in DR Congo. Its wood is locally used for making tool handles; its leaves and seed pulp are edible.
Within Cola lateritia 2 varieties are distinguished: var. lateritia, with peduncle 5–15 mm long, distributed from southern Nigeria to Gabon, and var. maclaudii (A.Chev.) Brenan & Keay, with peduncle less than 3 mm long, distributed from Guinea to south-western Nigeria.
In Sierra Leone the tree is leafless in April and May; flowering has been observed from October to May and ripe fruits from February to September. In Côte d’Ivoire Cola lateritia flowers from August to April; fruiting is from November to July. Rodents eat the fruits and may disperse the seeds.
Cola lateritia occurs in rainforest, gallery forest and secondary forest, up to 1000 m altitude.
Cola lateritia is sometimes planted, e.g. in Cameroon and Cape Verde, but management details are lacking. The 1000-seed weight is 1.7–3.3 kg. Germination takes place 6–21 days after sowing; the germination rate is usually high.
Genetic resources and breeding
In view of its wide distribution, Cola lateritia is not threatened by genetic erosion.
Cola lateritia is a useful source of wood for local use and of other products, such as food, fibre and medicines. However, the quality of its wood is probably too poor to expect increased importance as a source of timber.
Major references
• Aubréville, A., 1959. La flore forestière de la Côte d’Ivoire. Deuxième édition révisée. Tome deuxième. Publication No 9. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 340 pp.
• Burkill, H.M., 2000. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 5, Families S–Z, Addenda. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 686 pp.
• Germain, R. & Bamps, P., 1963. Sterculiaceae. In: Robyns, W., Staner, P., Demaret, F., Germain, R., Gilbert, G., Hauman, L., Homès, M., Jurion, F., Lebrun, J., Vanden Abeele, M. & Boutique, R. (Editors). Flore du Congo belge et du Ruanda-Urundi. Spermatophytes. Volume 10. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. pp. 205–316.
• Hallé, N., 1961. Sterculiacées. Flore du Gabon. Volume 2. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 150 pp.
• Lovett, J.C., Ruffo, C.K., Gereau, R.E. & Taplin, J.R.D., 2006. Field guide to the moist forest trees of Tanzania. [Internet] Centre for Ecology Law and Policy, Environment Department, University of York, York, United Kingdom. res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/ tree%20guide/guide.htm. Accessed April 2006.
Other references
• Adebola, P.O. & Morakinyo, J.A., 2005. Chromosome numbers of four Nigerian species of Cola Schott. & Endlicher (Sterculiaceae). Silvae Genetica 54(1): 42–44.
• Carrière, S., 1999. ‘Les orphelins de la forêt’. Influence de l’agriculture itinérante sur brûlis des Ntumu et des pratiques agricoles associées sur la dynamique forestière du sud Cameroun. Thèse de doctorat, Université Montpellier II Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, France. 448 pp.
• de la Mensbruge, G., 1966. La germination et les plantules des essences arborées de la forêt dense humide de la Côte d’Ivoire. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 389 pp.
• Gonçalves, M.L., 1996. Sterculiaceae. In: Paiva, J., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A., Moreira, I., Gomes, I. & Gomes, S. (Editors). Flora de Cabo Verde: Plantas vasculares. No 24. Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Lisbon, Portugal & Instituto Nacional de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Agrário, Praia, Cape Verde. 12 pp.
• Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody plants of Ghana, with special reference to their uses. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom. 868 pp.
• Keay, R.W.J., 1958. Sterculiaceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 310–332.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• Savill, P.S. & Fox, J.E.D., 1967. Trees of Sierra Leone. Forest Department, Freetown, Sierra Leone. 316 pp.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan, 248 pp.
• Téré, H.G., 2000. Signification des noms vernaculaires des plantes chez les Guérés (Côte d’Ivoire). Sempervira No 7. Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 96 pp.
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

D. Louppe
CIRAD, Département Environnements et Sociétés, Cirad es-dir, Campus international de Baillarguet, TA C-DIR / B (Bât. C, Bur. 113), 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
A.A. Oteng-Amoako
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
General editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
L.P.A. Oyen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
J.R. Cobbinah
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
Photo editor
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2007. Cola lateritia K.Schum. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
leaves and fruits