21 Jun Hildegardia barteri
Scientific name: Hildegardia barteri (Mast.) Kosterm.
Distribution/conservation status: widely distributed, occurring mainly on rocky terrain and hills in drier parts of lowland rainforest. Not assessed by the IUCN red list.
Common names: Hildegardia (English), Ufuku, Shishi (Igbo), Eso, Okurugbedu (Yoruba).
Fruits/seeds: clusters of reddish-gold, ellipsoid, inflated pods, each containing a single seed.
Fruiting time: January – February.
Seed collection: ripe fruits are easily collected from lower branches of trees. Press the fruit between finger and thumb to extract the seed.
Type of seed: recalcitrant.
Sowing method: sow seeds promptly at a depth of 1 – 2cm.
Sowing medium: cured saw dust
Germination period: 10 – 14 days.
Germination percentage: 80%.
Growth/development: seedlings require good drainage and direct sunlight. Plant out 4 weeks after germination, choosing a well-drained, open position. Young trees fruit for the first time after 2 – 3 years.
Notes: leaves of seedlings are prone to attack by insects especially when growing under shade. Observe fruits closely and collect as soon as they ripen as they are heavily predated.