23 Jul Pentaclethra Macrophylla
Scientific name: Pentaclethra macrophylla Benth.
Distribution/conservation status: occurs in both primary and secondary forests, especially near watercourses. Not been assessed by the IUCN red list.
Common names: African oil bean, Congo acacia (English), Ugba, Ogba (Igbo), Apara, Apawa (Yoruba), Okpagha, Akpagha (Edo).
Fruits/seeds: dark brown, linear-oblong pod, tapering at the base and rounded at the apex, enclosing 5 – 8 large, smooth, brown, flattened seeds.
Fruiting time: all year but mainly September – December. Seed collection: ripe fruits open explosively, hurling pods and seeds to the ground under and around parent tree. Check seeds for insect damage and discard any with small holes.
Type of seed: recalcitrant.
Sowing method: soak seeds for 24 hours before sowing flat in pots at a depth of 4cm.
Sowing medium: topsoil.
Germination period: 25 – 30 days.
Germination percentage: 66%.
Growth/development: seedlings require deep shade; growth is fast and they can be planted out 8 weeks after germinating.
Notes: sow seeds promptly to ensure viability.