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Ganophyllum giganteum (A.Chev.) Hauman

Protologue
Fl. Congo 9: 363 (1960).
Family
Sapindaceae
Synonyms
Pseudospondias gigantea A.Chev. (1917).
Origin and geographic distribution
Ganophyllum giganteum occurs in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and DR Congo.
Uses
The wood, often traded as ‘zembili’, is suitable for heavy construction, joinery, vehicle bodies, furniture, handles, ladders, toys, novelties, agricultural implements, pattern making, carving and turnery. It is suitable for charcoal production.
The sweet flesh of the fruits is eaten and apparently locally popular in DR Congo. In traditional medicine, bark decoctions and macerations are taken to treat problems of the respiratory and digestive tracts, dysmenorrhoea, epilepsy, convulsions, sterility and impotence, and they are administered to treat wounds, and in a vapour bath to treat rheumatism and trypanosomiasis. The fruit is administered in a mixture with other plants to treat asthma.
Properties
The heartwood is whitish yellow to pale pinkish brown, and not distinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is usually straight, texture fine and even.
The wood is heavy, with a density of 825–895 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content, fairly hard and tough. Air drying should be done with great care to avoid serious splitting and checking. The rates of shrinkage are high, from green to oven dry 7.6% radial and 12.5% tangential. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 179 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 16,700 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 66 N/mm², cleavage 17.5 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 6.3.
The wood is not difficult to work despite its hardness. It is fairly durable, but may be susceptible to termite and marine borer attacks and is only moderately durable when exposed to the weather or in contact with the ground. The sapwood is not liable to Lyctus attack.
The triterpenoids zanhic acid and zanhic acid-γ-lactone have been isolated from the root bark. The crude hydromethanolic extract of Ganophyllum giganteum leaves showed pronounced cytotoxicity against human monocytes.
Description
Dioecious, medium-sized to fairly large tree up to 40 m tall; bole branchless for up to 25 m, straight and cylindrical, sometimes crooked, up to 120 cm in diameter, with small to medium-sized buttresses or fluted at base; bark surface reddish brown, scaling off in large, irregular flakes, inner bark fibrous, orange to reddish, with menthol smell; crown irregular; twigs glabrous, resinous, with many small lenticels. Leaves alternate, clustered near the apex of twigs, paripinnately compound with 5–9(–12) pairs of leaflets, resinous; stipules absent; petiole 4–10 cm long, rachis up to 25 cm long; petiolules c. 2 mm long; leaflets usually alternate, ovate to lanceolate, 5–15(–20) cm × 2.5–5 cm, asymmetrical at base, acuminate at apex, margin entire, glabrous, distinctly glossy with very small whitish dots at upper surface, pinnately veined with 8–12 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary panicle up to 30 cm long. Flowers unisexual, regular, usually 5-merous, small, whitish; pedicel c. 2.5 mm long, with minute glands; sepals c. 2.5 mm long, fused at base; petals absent; stamens free, alternating with sepals, c. 5 mm long; disk lobed, glabrous; ovary superior, 2-celled, style short; male flowers with rudimentary ovary, female flowers with reduced stamens. Fruit an ellipsoid to ovoid, fleshy drupe c. 2 cm × 1.5 cm, glabrous, yellow to orange when ripe, 1-seeded. Seedling with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 4–5 cm long, epicotyl 3–4 cm long; cotyledons oblong, 2–3 cm long, fleshy; first leaves opposite, with 6–10 leaflets.
Other botanical information
Ganophyllum comprises 2 species. Ganophyllum falcatum Blume occurs in tropical Asia and Australia. It closely resembles Ganophyllum giganteum, differing only in its slightly smaller flowers with hairy disk. The wood of Ganophyllum falcatum is similar and exported in small quantities from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Anatomy
Wood-anatomical description (IAWA hardwood codes):
Growth rings: 2: growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Vessels: 5: wood diffuse-porous; (7: vessels in diagonal and/or radial pattern); 13: simple perforation plates; 22: intervessel pits alternate; 23: shape of alternate pits polygonal; 25: intervessel pits small (4–7 μm); 26: intervessel pits medium (7–10 μm); 30: vessel-ray pits with distinct borders; similar to intervessel pits in size and shape throughout the ray cell; 41: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 50–100 μm; 42: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100–200 μm; 47: 5–20 vessels per square millimetre; 58: gums and other deposits in heartwood vessels. Tracheids and fibres: 61: fibres with simple to minutely bordered pits; 65: septate fibres present; (66: non-septate fibres present); 69: fibres thin- to thick-walled; 70: fibres very thick-walled. Axial parenchyma: (76: axial parenchyma diffuse); 79: axial parenchyma vasicentric; 80: axial parenchyma aliform; (81: axial parenchyma lozenge-aliform); (82: axial parenchyma winged-aliform); 83: axial parenchyma confluent; (91: two cells per parenchyma strand); 92: four (3–4) cells per parenchyma strand; (93: eight (5–8) cells per parenchyma strand). Rays: 97: ray width 1–3 cells; 104: all ray cells procumbent; 115: 4–12 rays per mm. Mineral inclusions: 136: prismatic crystals present; 142: prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells.
(S. N’Danikou, P. Baas & H. Beeckman)
Growth and development
In Gabon trees flower in November, and fruits ripen in January–February. Gorillas eat the fruits in large quantities and serve as seed dispersers.
It has been recorded that flower induction takes place when night temperatures drop below 19°C. In Gabon this is often the case during the dry season in July and August. However, in some years this does not happen and then the trees fail to flower and fruit. It has been suggested that global warming may have a disastrous effect on Ganophyllum giganteum and on the animals that depend on it at least part of the year, such as gorillas feeding on the fruits.
Ecology
Ganophyllum giganteum mostly occurs in semi-deciduous forest, sometimes in evergreen forest, up to 700 m altitude.
Propagation and planting
The average 1000-seed weight is 940 g.
Management
Ganophyllum giganteum appears to be uncommon in many regions within its distribution area, and is therefore not subject to specific management measures for timber production.
Diseases and pests
The foliage of Ganophyllum giganteum is susceptible to insect damage; in Gabon severe defoliation has been reported, particularly in the period December–February.
Genetic resources
Ganophyllum giganteum is fairly widespread in Central Africa and at present there is no reason to consider it threatened. However, monitoring of the existing populations is recommended in view of its usually scattered occurrence, preference for undisturbed forest, probable slow growing rates and possible vulnerability in the context of climate change.
Prospects
Too little is known about Ganophyllum giganteum to judge its possibilities as a timber tree of more economic importance. Based on trials in tropical Asia, a rotation cycle of 100 years has been estimated for sustainably harvesting sawn timber of Ganophyllum falcatum, with an estimated annual production of 0.9 m³/ha. When it is assumed that this is comparable to production rates in Ganophyllum giganteum, it is not very promising for planting for timber production on an economically valid basis.
Major references
• Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
• Fouilloy, R. & Hallé, N., 1973. Sapindacées. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 16. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 202 pp.
• Lamidi, M., DiGiorgio, C., Delmas, F., Favel, A., Mve-Mba, C.E., Rondi, M.L., Ollivier, E., Nze-Ekekang, L. & Balansard, G., 2005. In vitro cytotoxic, antileishmanial and antifungal activities of ethnopharmacologically selected Gabonese plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 102: 185-190.
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
• Sallenave, P., 1964. Propriétés physiques et mécaniques des bois tropicaux. Premier supplément. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 79 pp.
• Takahashi, A., 1978. Compilation of data on the mechanical properties of foreign woods (part 3) Africa. Shimane University, Matsue, Japan. 248 pp.
• Vivien, J. & Faure, J.J., 1985. Arbres des forêts denses d’Afrique Centrale. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 565 pp.
• Vivien, J. & Faure, J.J., 1996. Fruitiers sauvages d’Afrique: espèces du Cameroun. Ministère Français de la Coopération, Paris, France & CTA, Wageningen, Netherlands. 416 pp.
• White, L. & Abernethy, K., 1997. A guide to the vegetation of the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. 2nd edition. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, United States. 224 pp.
• Wilks, C. & Issembé, Y., 2000. Les arbres de la Guinée Equatoriale: Guide pratique d’identification: région continentale. Projet CUREF, Bata, Guinée Equatoriale. 546 pp.
Other references
• Adjanohoun, E.J., Ahyi, A.M.R., Aké Assi, L., Baniakina, J., Chibon, P., Cusset, G., Doulou, V., Enzanza, A., Eymé, J., Goudoté, E., Keita, A., Mbemba, C., Mollet, J., Moutsamboté, J.-M., Mpati, J. & Sita, P. (Editors), 1988. Médecine traditionnelle et pharmacopée - Contribution aux études ethnobotaniques et floristiques en République Populaire du Congo. Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 606 pp.
• Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
• Bouquet, A., 1969. Féticheurs et médecines traditionnelles du Congo (Brazzaville). Mémoires ORSTOM No 36. Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer. Paris, France. 282 pp.
• Dasuki, U.A., 1998. Ganophyllum Blume. In: Sosef, M.S.M., Hong, L.T. & Prawirohatmodjo, S. (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 5(3). Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands. pp. 243–245.
• Dimbi, M.Z., Warin, R., Delaude, C., Huls, R., Kapundu, M. & Lami, N., 1984. Structure of zanhic acid and zanhic acid- -lactone, two novel triterpenoids from Zanha golungensis and Ganophyllum giganteum. Bulletin des Societés Chimiques Belges 93: 323–328.
• Neuwinger, H.D., 2000. African traditional medicine: a dictionary of plant use and applications. Medpharm Scientific, Stuttgart, Germany. 589 pp.
• Ngavoura, P., 1990. Fiabilité de la médecine traditionnelle dans le monde moderne - “Contribution du forestier”. Mémoire de fin de cycle, Ecole nationale des eaux et forêts (ENEF), Cap-Estérias, Gabon. 115 pp.
• Voysey, B.C., Mcdonald, K.E., Rogers, M.E., Tutin, C.E.G. &, Parnell, R.J., 1999. Gorillas and seed dispersal in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. II: Gorilla acquisition by trees. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15(1): 23–38.
• Voysey, B.C., Mcdonald, K.E., Rogers, M.E., Tutin, C.E.G. &, Parnell, R.J., 1999. Gorillas and seed dispersal in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. II: Survival and growth of seedlings. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15(1): 39–60.
Sources of illustration
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
• White, L. & Abernethy, K., 1997. A guide to the vegetation of the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. 2nd edition. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, United States. 224 pp.
• Wilks, C. & Issembé, Y., 2000. Les arbres de la Guinée Equatoriale: Guide pratique d’identification: région continentale. Projet CUREF, Bata, Guinée Equatoriale. 546 pp.
Author(s)
S. Adanu
Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services, University of Ghana, Legon. PMB, L 17, Accra, Ghana
C.H. Bosch
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
R.H.M.J. Lemmens
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
Associate editors
E.A. Obeng
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), University P.O. Box 63, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Correct citation of this article:
Adanu, S. & Bosch, C.H., 2011. Ganophyllum giganteum (A.Chev.) Hauman. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Louppe, D. & Oteng-Amoako, A.A. (Editors). Prota 7(2): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 2. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
Distribution Map wild


1, tree habit; 2, leaf; 3, flowering twig; 4, fruits.
Source: Flore analytique du Bénin