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Lychnodiscus cerospermus Radlk.

Protologue
Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3(5): 344 (1895).
Family
Sapindaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Lychnodiscus cerospermus is distributed in DR Congo, Sudan and western Uganda. In Tanzania a single specimen has been collected very close to the border with Uganda.
Uses
The wood of Lychnodiscus cerospermus is used in DR Congo for construction and to make mortars.
Botany
Slender, small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall; bark smooth, greyish white; twigs soft short-hairy. Leaves alternate, paripinnately compound with 6–7 pairs of leaflets; stipules absent; petiole up to 10 cm long, rachis grooved, up to 60 cm long; petiolules 3–6 mm long; leaflets opposite to alternate, oblong-elliptical to ovate-oblong, 11–15 cm × 3–5 cm, acuminate at apex, margins usually toothed, pinnately veined with 10–16(–22) pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary or terminal panicle up to 45 cm long, brown hairy. Flowers unisexual, regular, 5-merous; pedicel 4–6 mm long; sepals c. 2.5 mm long, fused at base; petals free, funnel-shaped, 3–3.5 mm long, whitish, with a reflexed hairy scale just below the apex; stamens 10–13, filaments c. 4 mm long; ovary superior, 3-lobed and 3-celled, style undivided. Fruit a 3-lobed ellipsoid to ovoid capsule up to 2 cm long, hairy, red when ripe, dehiscent, (1–)3-seeded. Seeds 3-angled, up to 18 mm long, covered by a waxy, red aril.
Lychnodiscus comprises 7 species and is confined to tropical Africa. Lychnodiscus reticulatus Radlk. is a small tree up to 13 m tall, occurring from Guinea Bissau to Equatorial Guinea. Its wood is whitish and hard. Lychnodiscus multinervis Radlk. is a large shrub or small tree from DR Congo. Its wood is used for construction.
Ecology
Lychnodiscus cerospermus is found in the understorey of primary forest and gallery forest at 1000–1500 altitude. The forests in which it grows are often inundated part of the year.
Management
Baboons eat the foliage of Lychnodiscus cerospermus, but not fruits and seeds. They uproot seedlings for the edible root-bark, and this may hamper regeneration.
Genetic resources and breeding
Lychnodiscus cerospermus may easily become threatened as it has both a restricted range and a low population density.
Prospects
Lychnodiscus cerospermus is of some importance only locally. Because of its small size, it is not likely to become more important as a timber tree.
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.
• Davies, F.G. & Verdcourt, B., 1998. Sapindaceae. In: Beentje, H.J. (Editor). Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 108 pp.
Other references
• Eggeling, W.J. & Dale, I.R., 1951. The indigenous trees of the Uganda Protectorate. Government Printer, Entebbe, Uganda. 491 pp.
• Eilu, G., Hafashimana, D.L.N. & Kasenene, J.M., 2004. Tree species distribution in forests of the Albertine Rift, western Uganda. African Journal of Ecology 42: 100–110.
• Hauman, L., 1960. Sapindaceae. 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 9. Institut National pour l’Étude Agronomique du Congo belge, Brussels, Belgium. pp. 279–384.
• Hawthorne, W. & Jongkind, C., 2006. Woody plants of western African forests: a guide to the forest trees, shrubs and lianes from Senegal to Ghana. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. 1023 pp.
• Paterson, J.D., 2006. Aspects of diet, foraging, and seed predation in Ugandan forest baboons. In: Newton-Fisher, N.E., Notman, H., Paterson, J.D. & Reynolds, V. (Editors). Primates of western Uganda. Springer, New York, United States. pp. 75–92.
• Sommerlatte, H. & Sommerlatte, M., 1990. A field guide to the trees and shrubs of the Imatong Mountains, southern Sudan. Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammmenarbeit (GTZ), Nairobi, Kenya. 372 pp.
Author(s)
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:
Bosch, C.H., 2011. Lychnodiscus cerospermus Radlk. 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