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Neolemonniera clitandrifolia (A.Chev.) Heine

Protologue
Kew Bull. 14: 301 (1960).
Family
Sapotaceae
Synonyms
Sideroxylon aylmeri M.B.Scott (1915).
Origin and geographic distribution
Neolemonniera clitandrifolia is distributed from Sierra Leone to Ghana, and in Nigeria (Calabar).
Uses
The wood is recorded as being used for construction, planks and canoes, but the extent of its actual usage is unclear. The fruits are sometimes eaten. Oil from the seed is used for frying food and as hair oil.
Properties
The heartwood is reddish or purplish brown, the sapwood pinkish. The grain is fairly straight; texture medium. The wood is heavy (density 900–1000 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content), tough and very hard. It requires care in seasoning. The wood is rather difficult to work, but it finishes smoothly. It is very durable.
Although the fruit pulp is edible, the presence of latex in the fruits makes them very sticky. The taste of the seed oil is said to be similar to that of coconut oil.
Botany
Medium-sized to fairly large tree up to 35 m tall; bole up to 90 cm in diameter, with buttresses up to 3 m high and often extending into lateral roots; outer bark brownish grey to dark brown, smooth or scaly, with scattered brown lenticels, inner bark reddish, exuding white latex; crown dome-shaped. Leaves arranged spirally, clustered at the ends of branchlets, simple and entire; stipules short, sharp; petiole 1–3 cm long; blade lanceolate-elliptical, 7–15(–35) cm × 2.5–5(–10) cm, cuneate at base, acuminate at apex, leathery, glabrous, finely striate, pinnately veined with c. 10 pairs of indistinct lateral veins. Flowers in fascicles in leaf axils, bisexual, regular, 5-merous, c. 5 mm long; pedicel 1.5–3 cm long; sepals free, ovate; corolla with short tube and 5 lobes divided to near the base into 3 segments, white, hairy; stamens opposite each corolla lobe, alternating with large, hairy staminodes; ovary superior, hairy, 5-celled. Fruit a pendulous capsule 7–8 cm in diameter, dehiscent, 1-seeded. Seed slightly obliquely ellipsoid, c. 3.5 cm × 1.5 cm, brown, shiny, with a scar over almost the full length.
In Sierra Leone Neolemonniera clitandrifolia flowers in April and May, in Côte d’Ivoire in March. The seeds are reportedly dispersed over short distances by the explosively opening fruits.
Neolemonniera comprises 5 species found in West and Central Africa.
Ecology
Neolemonniera clitandrifolia is rare and occurs scattered in dense humid forest, sometimes in small groups in hilltop forest, mainly on rocky slopes.
Genetic resources and breeding
Neolemonniera clitandrifolia is classified as endangered in the IUCN Red list of threatened species. Much of its habitat has been lost to agriculture, mining and logging, and a rapid decline in population numbers has been observed.
Prospects
The wood of Neolemonniera clitandrifolia is hard and durable but, in view of its rapidly declining numbers, usage should be discouraged or prohibited. Particular attention should be given to planting Neolemonniera clitandrifolia in arboreta and botanical gardens.
Major references
• 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.
• 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.
• Pennington, T.D., 1991. The genera of Sapotaceae. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom and the New York Botanical Garden, New York, United States. 295 pp.
• Savill, P.S. & Fox, J.E.D., 1967. Trees of Sierra Leone. Forest Department, Freetown, Sierra Leone. 316 pp.
Other references
• Cooper, G.P. & Record, S.J., 1931. The evergreen forests of Liberia. School of Forestry, Yale University, Bulletin 31, New Haven, United States. 153 pp.
• Hawthorne, W.D., 1995. Ecological profiles of Ghanaian forest trees. Tropical Forestry Papers 29. Oxford Forestry Institute, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, United Kingdom. 345 pp.
• Hawthorne, W., 1998. Neolemonniera clitandrifolia. In: IUCN. 2006 Red list of threatened species. [Internet] http://www.iucnredlist.org. Accessed June 2006.
• Normand, D., 1960. Atlas des bois de la Côte d’Ivoire. Tome 3. Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, Nogent-sur-Marne, France. 182 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.
• Voorhoeve, A.G., 1965. Liberian high forest trees. A systematic botanical study of the 75 most important or frequent high forest trees, with reference to numerous related species. Pudoc, Wageningen, Netherlands. 416 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., 2007. Neolemonniera clitandrifolia (A.Chev.) Heine. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). Prota 7(1): Timbers/Bois d’œuvre 1. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.
various parts of the tree
obtained from
The Virtual Field Herbarium