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Hypodaphnis zenkeri (Engl.) Stapf

Protologue
Dyer, Fl. trop. Afr. 6(1): 185 (1909).
Family
Lauraceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Hypodaphnis zenkeri is distributed in southern Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.
Uses
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’.
Properties
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.
Botany
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.
Ecology
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.
Prospects
Hypodaphnis zenkeri provides a good-quality timber, but detailed information on its wood properties is lacking, as is information on its actual use.
Major references
• Burkill, H.M., 1995. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 3, Families J–L. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 857 pp.
• Fouilloy, R., 1974. Lauraceae. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 18. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 3–87.
• Keay, R.W.J., 1989. Trees of Nigeria. A revised version of Nigerian trees (1960, 1964) by R.W.J. Keay, C.F.A. Onochie and D.P. Stanfield. Clarendon Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. 476 pp.
• 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.
• Tchiégang, C. & Mbougueng, P.D., 2005. Composition chimique des épices utilisées dans la préparation du Nah-poh et du Nkui de l’ouest Cameroun. Tropicultura 23(4): 193–200.
Other references
• Fouilloy, R., 1965. Lauracées. Flore du Gabon. Volume 10. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. pp. 7–81.
• Keay, R.W.J., 1954. Lauraceae. In: Keay, R.W.J. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 1, part 1. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 56–58.
• Newbery, D.M., Alexander, I.J., Thomas, D.W. & Gartlan, J.S., 1988. Ectomycorrhizal rain-forest legumes and soil phosphorous in Korup National Park, Cameroon. New Phytologist 109(4): 433–450.
• 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.
Author(s)
M. Brink
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
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
Photo editor
G.H. Schmelzer
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

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