Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres
J. Bot. 49: 321 (1911).
2n = 44
Vangueria nigrescens Scott Elliot ex Oliv. (1894), Cuviera trichostephana K.Schum. (1897), Cuviera minor C.H.Wright (1906).
Origin and geographic distribution
Cuviera nigrescens occurs from Guinea-Bissau eastward to southern Nigeria and Cameroon, and possibly in DR Congo.
In Ghana the branches are split to make the ribs of umbrellas for chiefs. An extract of the root is applied as eye-bath against conjunctivitis.
The wood fibres are 1.6–2.2 mm long.
Shrub or small tree up to 12 m tall; bole up to 30 cm in diameter, bearing sharp spines; outer bark pale grey, inner bark green and brown; crown drooping; branches arching. Leaves opposite, simple, entire; petiole thin; blade elliptical to obovate, up to 13 cm × 5–8 cm, base rounded or attenuate, apex long-apiculate, glabrous except for a few hairs in axils of lateral veins, membranous, shiny, lateral veins in 6–7 pairs. Inflorescence an axillary spreading cyme with conspicuous pale bracteoles c. 8 mm long. Flowers greenish white, fragrant; calyx-lobes ovate-lanceolate, c. 3 mm × 8 mm, conspicuous, pale; corolla tube very short and hairy at base, lobes 5, lanceolate, apex pointed, with thread-like tips; anthers sessile; ovary rounded, 5-celled, ridged, styles glabrous, stigmas cylindrical. Fruit a drupe c. 4 cm in diameter, slightly 5-lobed when fresh, sharply 5-ridged when dry. Seeds kidney-shaped, with keel-like wings.
In Ghana Cuviera nigrescens flowers in February–May and fruits in June–October.
Cuviera is a genus of about 30 species, all in tropical Africa. A revision of the genus is lacking. It is possibly close to Vangueriella, but the group of Vanguerieae, in which Cuviera is classified, is in need of revision to elucidate the relationships between taxa.
Cuviera nigrescens occurs in moist primary forest and secondary vegetation.
Cuviera nigrescens is only collected from the wild.
Genetic resources and breeding
The species is widespread and not threatened with genetic erosion.
Cuviera nigrescens is only used locally and its importance is unlikely to increase.
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Correct citation of this article:
Oyen, L.P.A., 2010. Cuviera nigrescens (Scott-Elliot) Wernham. In: Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). Prota 16: Fibres/Plantes à fibres. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.