Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1
Cat. afr. pl. 1: 649 (1898).
Mimusops warneckii Engl. (1904).
Origin and geographic distribution
Mimusops andongensis occurs from Senegal and Guinea Bissau to Cameroon, Congo, DR Congo and Angola.
The wood of Mimusops andongensis is locally (especially in Nigeria) valued for building purposes, canoes, axe handles and carving. The latex from the bark is used to flavour palm wine, to treat malaria and as a penile stimulant. The fruits serve as an alternative for chewing gum.
Shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall, containing latex; bole up to 100 cm in diameter but usually much less; crown dense, strongly branched. Leaves arranged spirally, more or less in tufts at the ends of branches, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–1.5 cm long; blade narrowly obovate to narrowly oblong, 6–18 cm × 2–5 cm, cuneate at base, acuminate at apex, reddish pubescent when very young but soon glabrous, with many lateral veins. Flowers in fascicles in the leaf axils, bisexual, regular; pedicel 0.5–1 cm long; sepals in 2 whorls of 4; corolla whitish, with a short tube and 8 lobes each with 2 appendages, c. 5 mm long; stamens 8, alternating with 8 hairy staminodes; ovary superior, 8-celled. Fruit a globular berry c. 1 cm long, pointed at apex, yellow to orange when ripe, 1-seeded. Seed with small circular basal scar.
Mimusops andongensis is closely related to Mimusops bagshawei S.Moore from East Africa, which differs in its deep purplish-brown colour of the bark of young twigs and its staminodes with shorter apex. It also resembles Mimusops kummel Bruce ex A.DC., which is widely distributed in tropical Africa and differs mainly in its longer pedicels.
Mimusops andongensis is often found in gallery forest and fringing forest along watercourses. In Côte d’Ivoire it occurs in the transition zone between savanna and forest. In periodically flooded forest on heavy clay soils in southern Benin Mimusops andongensis is locally fairly common, constituting about 3% of the trees. It establishes in wooded savanna or formerly cultivated land in later stages of the succession, together with Afzelia africana Sm. ex Pers., Celtis prantlii Priemer ex Engl., Dialium guineense Willd. and Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.DC.
Genetic resources and breeding
There are no indications that Mimusops andongensis is under threat of genetic erosion.
Although very poorly known, it is unlikely that Mimusops andongensis will gain importance as a timber tree due to its comparatively small size and more or less specific habitat requirements.
• Aubréville, A., 1959. La flore forestière de la Côte d’Ivoire. Deuxième édition révisée. Tome troisième. Publication No 15. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 334 pp.
• Aubréville, A., 1964. Sapotacées. Flore du Cameroun. Volume 2. Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. 143 pp.
• 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.
• Heine, H., 1963. Sapotaceae. In: Hepper, F.N. (Editor). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Volume 2. 2nd Edition. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom. pp. 16–30.
• Nansen, C., Tchabi, A. & Meikle, W.G., 2001. Successional sequence of forest types in a disturbed dry forest reserve in southern Benin, West Africa. Journal of Tropical Ecology 17: 525–539.
Correct citation of this article:
Lemmens, R.H.M.J., 2005. Mimusops andongensis Hiern. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.