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Duboscia macrocarpa Bocq.

Adansonia 7: 56 (1866).
Tiliaceae (APG: Malvaceae)
Origin and geographic distribution
Duboscia macrocarpa is distributed in southern Nigeria, eastern Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo and Angola (Cabinda).
The wood of Duboscia macrocarpa is made into crates, paddles and bells to attach to hunting-dogs. In Cameroon the seed and a decoction of the stem bark are used to treat toothache; the stem bark is taken orally against cough. In Congo an infusion of the bark is taken against tuberculosis, and the fruit is used to treat tuberculosis and tooth problems. Water in which the chopped-up fruit has been boiled is a vermifuge for children and is taken by adults to treat abdominal problems; it is also used as a mouthwash against toothache. The scented fruit is used in rituals.
Production and international trade
The wood of Duboscia spp. is of no importance in commercial trade.
The wood of Duboscia spp. is yellowish white or greyish pink and rather soft. The texture is rather fine. The stem bark is fibrous.
Medium-sized tree up to 33 m tall; bole with diameter up to 120 cm, fluted, sometimes buttressed; branchlets hairy. Leaves alternate, simple and entire; stipules entire, ovate to lanceolate, 4–10 mm long, acuminate, hairy; petiole 4–7 mm long, hairy; blade obovate-oblong to lanceolate, 3.5–16 cm × 1.5–8 cm, base rounded to cordate and asymmetric, apex long-acuminate, leathery, glabrous above except on veins, hairy below, prominently 3-veined at base, secondary veins in 5–6 pairs. Inflorescence an umbel-like cyme, leaf-opposed, many-flowered; peduncle 2–3.5 cm long; cymules generally 3-flowered; involucral bracts generally 3, 5–7 mm in diameter. Flowers bisexual, regular, 4-merous; sepals 5–7 mm long, valvate; petals yellowish; stamens numerous; ovary superior, 5–7-celled. Fruit a globose to elliptical drupe 4–6 cm in diameter, 7–8-ribbed, long-hairy, green to brown, mesocarp fibrous.
Duboscia comprises 3 species distributed in tropical Africa. Duboscia polyantha Pierre ex A.Chev., distributed in westernmost Central Africa, is used in the same way as Duboscia macrocarpa. The wood of Duboscia viridiflora (K.Schum.) Mildbr., distributed from Côte d’Ivoire eastward to Cameroon and DR Congo, is similar to that of Duboscia macrocarpa. It is known in Côte d’Ivoire as ‘otoumon’.
In the Mondika area at both sides of the border of the Central African Republic and DR Congo the density of Duboscia macrocarpa trees of at least 10 cm bole diameter at breast height (DBH) is 2.1 stems/ha, with an average DBH of 69 cm. In experiments in southern Cameroon (720 m altitude; average annual rainfall 1680 mm) Duboscia macrocarpa, planted at a very dense spacing of 1 m × 1 m and intercropped with groundnut reached a height of 5.9 m and a stem diameter (at 50 cm above ground level) of 5.6 cm 36 months after planting. The wood dry weight was 3.1 t/ha and the leaf dry weight 13.2 t/ha.
Duboscia macrocarpa occurs in primary and secondary forest.
Duboscia macrocarpa can be propagated by seed and coppices well.
Genetic resources and breeding
It is unknown whether Duboscia macrocarpa is threatened by genetic erosion, but this seems unlikely in view of its fairly wide distribution.
Too little is known on the properties, ecology and management of Duboscia macrocarpa to properly assess its potential. Its use in agroforestry deserves further attention.
Major references
• 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.
• Duguma, B., Tonye, J., Kanmegne, J., Manga, T. & Enoch, T., 1994. Growth of ten multipurpose tree species on acid soils in Sangmelima, Cameroon. Agroforestry Systems 27(2): 107–119.
• Normand, D. & Paquis, J., 1976. Manuel d’identification des bois commerciaux. Tome 2. Afrique guinéo-congolaise. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 335 pp.
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
• Wilczek, R., 1963. Tiliaceae. 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. 1–91.
Other references
• Betti, J.L., 2004. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants among the Baka pygmies in the Dja biosphere reserve, Cameroon. African Study Monographs 25(1): 1–27.
• Cousins, D. & Huffman, M.A., 2002. Medicinal properties in the diet of gorillas: an ethno-pharmacological evaluation. African Study Monographs 23(2): 65–89.
• Doran, D.M., McNeilage, A., Greer, D., Bocian, C., Mehlman, P. & Shah, N., 2002. Western lowland gorilla diet and resource availability: new evidence, cross-site comparisons, and reflections on indirect sampling methods. American Journal of Primatology 58(3): 91–116.
• Keay, R.W.J., 1958. Tiliaceae. 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. 300–310.
• Masters, M.T., 1868. Tiliaceae. In: Oliver, D. (Editor). Flora of tropical Africa. Volume 1. L. Reeve & Co, Ashford, United Kingdom. pp. 240–268.
• Wilks, C. & Issembé, Y., 2000. Les arbres de la Guinée Equatoriale: Guide pratique d’identification: région continentale. Projet CUREF, Bata, Guinée Equatoriale. 546 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

Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2007. Duboscia macrocarpa Bocq. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.