Garcinia kola

Picture of Garcinia kola fruits & seed. credits: O.Olubodun

Garcinia kola

Scientific name: Garcinia kola Heckel.
Family: Clusiaceae.
Distribution/conservation status: widely distributed in the understorey of dense evergreen forest, especially in coastal areas. Vulnerable (VU) due to over-harvesting of wood for chew-sticks and fruits for medicinal use.
Common names: Bitter kola (English), Orogbo (Yoruba), Adi (Igbo), Gooro (Hausa).
Fruits/seeds: reddish-yellow, globose, with 2 – 4 brown, oblong seeds embedded in fleshy orange pulp.
Fruiting time: July – September.
Seed collection: fruits fall when ripe and are easily collected from under the parent tree. Cut open fruit lengthways with a knife to extract seeds.
Type of seed: recalcitrant.
Sowing method: cut a banana or plantain stem, place on the ground and cut half-way through longtitudinally then insert seeds lengthways into the incision and keep closed for 56 days to break dormancy; when seeds start germinating, transfer to pots.
Sowing medium: forest soil.
Germination period: 56 days.
Germination percentage: 80 – 90%.
Growth/development: seedlings require complete shade and frequent watering; they can be planted out after 12 months in positions that ensure year-round shade and moisture.
Notes: seeds are viable for a short time only and must be sown immediately after extraction from the fruit.

Picture of Garcinia kola fruiting. credits: O.Olubodun

Garcinia kola fruiting. credits: O.Olubodun

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