Pterocarpus erinaceus

Picture of Pterocarpus osun fruit & seeds. credits: O.Olubodun

Pterocarpus erinaceus

Scientific Name: Pterocarpus erinaceus Poir.
Family: Leguminosae.
Distribution/conservation status: widely distributed in semi-arid and subhumid savanna. Populations in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa have declined rapidly due to the high value of timber for export. IUCN Red List assessment is in progress.
Common Names: African rosewood, Senegal rosewood (English), Aze egu (Igbo) Osun-dudu, Apepe (Yoruba), Ukpeka (Edo).
Fruits/seeds: circular, flattened pod with a papery, finely veined wing and prickles on the seed-bearing portion which contains 1 – 2 dark red-brown, kidney-shaped seeds.
Fruiting time: January – March.
Seed collection: fruits are wind-dispersed but most do not travel far and can be collected under and around the parent tree. Remove wing to extract the seed/s.
Type of seed: recalcitrant.
Sowing method: soak seeds in water for 12 – 24 hours, remove and drain. Following safety precautions to protect face and hands, immerse in sulphuric acid and stir for 20 minutes before sowing flat at a depth of 1.5cm.
Sowing medium: cured sawdust.
Germination period: 6-10 days.
Germination percentage: 75%.
Growth/development: requires partial sunlight for optimal growth. Growth is slow and it may take 12 months before seedlings are large enough for planting out.
Notes: protect seedlings from livestock and rodents.

Picture of Pterocarpus erinaceus leaf. credits: O.Olubodun

Pterocarpus erinaceus leaf. credits: O.Olubodun

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