20 Jun Tetrapleura tetraptera
Scientific name: Tetrapleura tetraptera (Schumach. & Thonn.) Taub.
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.