Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Dyer, Fl. trop. Afr. 6(1): 185 (1909).
Origin and geographic distribution
Hypodaphnis zenkeri is distributed in southern Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.
The heartwood is of good quality. In Cameroon the bark is used as a spice in traditional sauces; it is locally sold on markets under the name ‘écorce rouge’.
The heartwood is grey to dark chestnut brown, the sapwood is white or pale yellow. The air-dried wood has a density of less than 650 kg/m³. The wood is easy to work. Bark obtained from the market contained 10% moisture; per 100 g dry matter it contained: protein 2.7 g, fat 3.4 g, carbohydrate 33 g, fibre 42 g, Ca 790 mg, Mg 814 mg, P 29 mg, Fe 0.4 mg and Zn 2 mg.
Small tree up to 15(–20) m tall; bole often twisted, up to 60 cm in diameter; bark surface dark grey or blackish brown, usually smooth, but sometimes rough and scaly, inner bark pale cream coloured, fibrous; crown bushy, dark green; branches reddish hairy when young, becoming glabrous when older. Leaves alternate, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole up to 5 cm long; blade elliptical to obovate, 12–30 cm × 6–15 cm, base shortly cuneate, apex acuminate, papery, upper surface slightly shiny, green, lower surface dull, paler green, pinnately veined with 4–6 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary, umbel-like panicle 3–8 cm long, reddish hairy, many-flowered; bracts caducous. Flowers bisexual, regular, yellowish, orange-yellow or brown, reddish hairy; perianth cup-shaped, c. 4 mm long, with 6 lobes; stamens in 3 whorls, with basal glands, staminodes absent; ovary inferior. Fruit an ovoid drupe up to 6 cm × 5 cm, 1-seeded. Seed 3–3.5 cm long.
In Nigeria Hypodaphnis zenkeri flowers from February–July, and fruits from May–November; in Gabon flowering is from March–April and fruiting in August. Hypodaphnis zenkeri trees have vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae.
Hypodaphnis comprises a single species. Within the Lauraceae, it is characterized by its inferior ovary.
Hypodaphnis zenkeri occurs in the lower storey of lowland rainforest. In the Lopé reserve (Gabon) it occurs as isolated individuals, locally becoming quite common.
Genetic resources and breeding
It is unclear to what extent Hypodaphnis zenkeri is threatened by genetic erosion.
Hypodaphnis zenkeri provides a good-quality timber, but detailed information on its wood properties is lacking, as is information on its actual use.
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Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2008. Hypodaphnis zenkeri (Engl.) Stapf. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
wood in transverse section
wood in tangential section