Tetrapleura tetraptera

Picture of Tetrapleura tetraptera fruit & seeds. credits: O.Olubodun

Tetrapleura tetraptera

Scientific name: Tetrapleura tetraptera Schumach. & Thonn. Taub.
Family: Leguminosae.
Distribution/conservation status: widespread in rainforest and secondary forest.
Common names: Gum tree (English), Oshosho, Obogolo (Igbo), Aridan, Aid an (Yoruba), Eseyeseye, Ighimiaka (Edo)
Fruits/seeds: shiny dark brown pod with 4 longitudinal wing-like ridges. Two of the wings are woody, the other two filled with soft oily pulp. Seeds are small, black, round, and hard.
Fruiting time: September – December.
Seed collection: ripe fruits can be collected from the ground under the parent tree. Break pod with hammer to extract seeds.
Type of seed: orthodox.
Sowing method: abrade seeds to scratch but not damage the hard surface, then soak in sulphuric acid for 7 minutes, stirring constantly, and sow immediately in nursery trays or pots at a depth of 2cm. Observe safety precautions to protect eyes and skin from acid.
Sowing medium: forest soil.
Germination period: 7 – 10 days.
Germination percentage: 84%.
Growth/development: seedlings require full shade. Growth is fast and seedlings are large enough to plant out 6 weeks after germination.
Notes: before planting out, acclimatise seedlings to brighter conditions by exposing gradually to sunlight. This prevent shock and defoliation after planting out.

Picture of Tetrapleura tetraptera fruiting. credits. D.Bown

Tetrapleura tetraptera fruiting. credits. D.Bown

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