Brachystegia nigerica

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Scientific name: Brachystegia nigerica Hoyle & A.P.D. Jones.
Family: Leguminosae.
Distribution/conservation status: endemic to wetter areas of forest in southern Nigeria where trees may be abundant in small localised populations. Vulnerable (VU) due to deforestation and clearance for agriculture.
Common names: Okwen (Edo), Agunri, Eku (Yoruba), Achi (Igbo)
Fruits/seeds: large purplish-brown to black, oblong flat pod containing on average four dark brown, disk-shaped seeds.
Fruiting time: October – December, June.
Seed collection: fruits explode/rupture to release seeds under or around the tree.
Type of seed: recalcitrant.
Sowing method: sow at a depth of 1 – 2cm with seed laid flat in the soil.
Sowing medium: forest soil.
Germination period: 14 – 21 days.
Germination percentage: 55 – 60%
Growth/development: transplant seedlings when they reach a height of at least 1m.
Notes: Seeds are heavily predated. Soaking seeds in water for 1 day may increase germination rate. Wildlings may be found along trails in forest areas where there are parent trees, indicating that seedlings respond well to higher light levels.

Picture of Brachystegia nigerica fruit & seeds

Brachystegia nigerica seedling. credit: D.Bown

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