Prota 1: Cereals and pulses/Céréales et légumes secs
Journ. Bot. 49: 108 (1911).
Papilionaceae (Leguminosae - Papilionoideae, Fabaceae)
Craibia elliottii Dunn (1911).
Origin and geographic distribution
Craibia brownii is found in north-eastern DR Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and possibly in Rwanda.
The seeds of Craibia brownii are edible after long cooking. The wood is used for building poles, tool handles and wooden spoons, and as firewood and to make charcoal. Craibia brownii is also planted as a shade tree.
The wood of Craibia brownii is whitish and hard, and has a fine texture.
Small to medium-sized tree up to 24 m tall, with a pale grey bark. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate with 3–8 leaflets; stipules oblong, often semi-persistent; petiole 1.5–2.5 cm long, rachis up to 12 cm long; stipels sometimes present; petiolules 1–2(–5) mm long, wrinkled; leaflets alternate, elliptical, lanceolate or oblong, 4–15 cm × 1.5–7 cm, base cuneate to rounded, apex gradually acuminate, glabrous, shiny. Inflorescence a many-flowered terminal or axillary raceme 4–15 cm long, densely brown-pubescent; bracts oblong, up to 5 mm long, caducous. Flowers bisexual, papilionaceous; pedicel up to 12(–19) mm long; calyx brown-pubescent, tube 4–5 mm long, lobes very broad, c. 2 mm long; corolla bluish, pinkish or white, 18–22 mm long, standard with a short claw, wings and keel with well-marked auricles; stamens 10, 9 fused and 1 free, sheath 10–13 mm long, free parts 5–6 mm long; ovary superior, shortly stalked, 10–11 mm long, densely hairy, style cylindrical, 5–6 mm long. Fruit a shortly stalked, flat pod, 4.5–10 cm × 1.5–3.5 cm, asymmetric, shortly beaked, glabrescent, dehiscing with twisted valves, 2–3-seeded. Seeds ellipsoid, c. 17 mm × 15 mm, black. Seedling with hypogeal germination.
Craibia comprises 10 species and is confined to tropical Africa.
Craibia brownii is found in dry and moist forest and along rivers, at 1100–2200 m altitude, in areas with an annual rainfall of 850–1400 mm.
Genetic resources and breeding
Craibia brownii is not threatened by genetic erosion as it is widespread and locally common.
Since very little is known about Craibia brownii, its prospects are unclear. Research is needed on the nutritional and chemical properties of the seeds.
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Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2006. Craibia brownii Dunn In: Brink, M. & Belay, G. (Editors). PROTA 1: Cereals and pulses/Céréales et légumes secs. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.