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Terminalia scutifera Planch. ex M.A.Lawson

Protologue
Oliv., Fl. trop. Afr. 2: 417 (1871).
Family
Combretaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Terminalia scutifera is a strictly West African coastal species distributed from Guinea Bissau to Sierra Leone.
Uses
The bark of Terminalia scutifera yields a yellow dye, which is used in Sierra Leone to colour clothes and fibres of plant origin. In Sierra Leone the wood is used to make knee-pieces and curved parts of the hulls of fishing boats. A bark extract is used to wash sore feet.
Botany
Deciduous small tree up to 15 m tall, with gnarled bole, low branching; bark of branchlets finely longitudinally furrowed, pale brown. Leaves alternate, often crowded at the ends of branchlets, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole up to 2 cm long; blade oblanceolate to narrowly obovate, 8–19 cm × 3–8 cm, base acute, apex acuminate, thinly leathery, densely red-brown tomentose when young, later glabrescent. Inflorescence a spike up to 8 cm long; peduncle c. 3 cm long. Flowers bisexual, regular, 5-merous, white; receptacle tubular, with 5 acute calyx lobes reflexed in open flowers; petals absent; stamens 10; ovary inferior, densely red-brown tomentose, 1-celled, style simple. Fruit a sessile, glabrous, rhomboid drupe c. 2.5 cm × 3.5 cm, with 2 narrow wings, dark brown.
Terminalia is pantropical and comprises about 200 species. In tropical mainland Africa about 32 indigenous species occur, in Madagascar 37. Several species are cultivated pantropically, e.g. Terminalia catappa L. The fruits of Terminalia scutifera have often been confused with those of Terminalia superba Engl. & Diels and its leaves with those of Terminalia ivorensis A.Chev. The bark of the latter two species also yields yellow to reddish brown dyes and black dyes if mordanted with iron-rich mud or iron salts. They are used, for instance in Côte d’Ivoire, to dye wraps, matting and basket fibres, but these species are primarily used as timber.
Ecology
Terminalia scutifera is confined to coastal habitats with mangrove swamp vegetation or freshwater swamp forest just above the high tide line.
Genetic resources and breeding
Terminalia scutifera is rather common and not in danger of genetic erosion as long as the mangrove vegetations in its comparatively small distribution area are not endangered.
Prospects
Terminalia scutifera will remain a minor local source for dyeing.
Major references
• Burkill, H.M., 1985. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 1, Families A–D. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 960 pp.
• Griffiths, M.E., 1957. A revision of the African species of Terminalia. Journal of the Linnean Society of London 55: 818–907.
Other references
• Keay, R.W.J., 1954. Combretaceae. 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. 264–281.
• Lawson, M.A., 1871. Combretaceae. In: Oliver, D. (Editor). Flora of tropical Africa. Volume 2. L. Reeve & Co, London, United Kingdom. pp. 413–436.
• Miège, J., 1992. Couleurs, teintures et plantes tinctoriales en Afrique occidentale. Bulletin du Centre Genevois d’Anthropologie 3: 115–131.
• Raponda-Walker, A. & Sillans, R., 1961. Les plantes utiles du Gabon. Paul Lechevalier, Paris, France. 614 pp.
Author(s)
P.C.M. Jansen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands


Editors
P.C.M. Jansen
PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
D. Cardon
CNRS, CIHAM-UMR 5648, 18, quai Claude-Bernard, 69365 Lyon, Cedex 07, France
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

Correct citation of this article:
Jansen, P.C.M., 2005. Terminalia scutifera Planch. ex M.A.Lawson In: Jansen, P.C.M. & Cardon, D. (Editors). PROTA 3: Dyes and tannins/Colorants et tanins. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.