Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, ser. 3, 12: 336 (1932).
Pachylobus deliciosus (A.Chev. ex Hutch. & Dalziel) Pellegr. (1934).
Monkey plum, African cherry fruit (En).
Origin and geographic distribution
Dacryodes klaineana is distributed in forest regions from Sierra Leone to Gabon.
The wood (trade name: adjouaba) is used in construction and for mortars, axe handles and wagons. It has also been recommended for telegraph poles and railway sleepers. It is considered suitable for interior joinery, furniture and parquetry. It is also used as fuelwood and has been used for paper making.
The fruit is eaten raw or cooked; the pulp is boiled or roasted to yield a kind of butter. The ground leaf is an ingredient of an enema applied against painful menstruation. In Côte d’Ivoire Dacryodes klaineana is used to treat tachycardia and cough.
The heartwood is grey to yellowish grey-brown with darker streaks, giving it a decorative appearance; the sapwood is whitish grey and wide, up to more than 10 cm. The wood contains silica. It is rather heavy, with a density of 730–940 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood dries quite fast and well. The rates of shrinkage from green to oven dry are 6.4–8.0% radial and 8.3–10.3% tangential. The wood is hard. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 111–229 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 12,900–18,700 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 55–78 N/mm², shear c. 18 N/mm², cleavage 18–28 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 5.8–7.9. The wood is moderately difficult to work. The heartwood is resistant to impregnation with preservatives.
The leaves contain tannins and traces of saponins.
Dioecious, evergreen, medium-sized tree up 25(–30) m tall; bole branchless for up to 10 m, up to 60(–120) cm in diameter, lower part usually straight and slightly angular, higher part often twisted, base with low root swellings or root spurs rarely higher than 60 cm; outer bark grey-greenish or blackish, very scaly, with irregular scales leaving yellowish marks after shedding, inner bark pink-brown or red-brown, with turpentine smell, exuding a watery or gummy liquid when cut; crown rounded, dense. Leaves alternate, imparipinnately compound with (2–)3(–4) pairs of leaflets, 15–30 cm long, rusty hairy when young, glabrescent but with persistent hairs on petiole, rachis and midvein; stipules absent; petiole 2.5–6.5 cm long, rachis 2–8 cm long; lateral petiolules (2–)8–14 mm long, terminal one 10–22 mm long, jointed at the top; leaflets opposite, elliptical to ovate, 4.5–18.5 cm × (1.5–)2–6.5 cm, base usually asymmetric, apex acuminate, pinnately veined with 6–12 pairs of lateral veins, markedly looped. Inflorescence a terminal or sometimes axillary panicle 10–22(–30) cm long, densely rusty hairy, with flowers in fascicles. Flowers unisexual, regular, pale creamy; pedicel 2–4 mm long; sepals 3, broadly ovate, c. 2 mm long, densely hairy outside, glabrous inside; petals 3, ovate, c. 4 mm long, densely hairy outside, papillate inside; male flowers with 6 stamens, filaments c. 1.5 mm long, ovary much reduced; female flowers with superior, hairy ovary and reduced stamens. Fruit an ovoid drupe c. 2 cm × 1.5 cm, slightly laterally flattened, slightly pointed at top, orange when ripe, with fleshy, fragrant pulp, stone ellipsoid, c. 2 cm × 1 cm, 1-seeded. Seedling with epigeal germination.
Dacryodes klaineana grows slowly. In the evergreen forest of Irobo (Côte d’Ivoire), the average annual diameter growth is 1.2 mm under natural conditions, and 2.6–3.1 mm in partially thinned locations. Dacryodes klaineana flowers at the beginning of the dry season, October–November in Liberia, where the fruits are ripe in January–February. Natural regeneration by seedlings is abundant.
Dacryodes comprises about 40 species, occurring in the American, Asian and African tropics. In Africa, about 20 species have been found, all of section Pachylobus. Gabon seems richest with approximately 10 species.
Dacryodes klaineana mostly occurs in the understorey of evergreen, deciduous or riverine forest, sometimes in higher layers of the canopy. It is widespread and locally abundant.
The 1000-seed weight is about 1.3 kg. Seeds take 15–30 days to germinate. Young seedlings in the nursery should be shaded. Dacryodes klaineana is not planted in Côte d’Ivoire, but trees are retained and protected during clearing for agricultural purposes. Marketable logs are mostly defective, with very large ones often being hollow.
Genetic resources and breeding
In view of its wide distribution and local abundance, Dacryodes klaineana does not seem much threatened, but in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon it is considered vulnerable.
The quality of the wood of Dacryodes klaineana is much lower than that of ozigo (Dacryodes buettneri (Engl.) H.J.Lam), due to the logs often being defective, the smaller diameter and the wide sapwood. Therefore, its prospects as a timber tree of commercial importance seem limited.
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Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2008. Dacryodes klaineana (Pierre) H.J.Lam. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
various parts of the tree
obtained from The Virtual Field Herbarium
wood in transverse and tangential section